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Friday, February 13, 2015

Aerospace Companies: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin.svgLockheed Martin is one of the more recent aerospace companies to have been formed, having come into existence only around the 1990s. However, it is already one of the world's largest defence contractors, with over 75% of its revenue coming from military funding. The company's headquarters are in Bethesda, Maryland and they have numerous factories and operations around the globe. They currently have around 116000 employees. (Above): The current logo of Lockheed Martin.
 
Lockheed Martin was initially formed by a merger between two companies, Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta. The merger took place at a price of an astounding 10 billion dollars. The two companies together built a lot of new systems, with the Lockheed Corporation building the Trident missile, the F-16, the F-22 and the Hercules while Martin Marietta built the external tank for the space shuttle and also the Viking I and II probes. (Left): A C-130 Hercules in flight 
 
Image result for viking probe
The company had also planned to merge with Northrop Grumman, but this was later shelved due to wariness by the government on the strength of this new group; had the merger continued, the three companies would have controlled around 1 quarter of the DOD's budget. However, since then, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have cooperated on many joint ventures. (Right): The Viking probe developed by Martin Marietta.
 
In the 2000s Lockheed Martin won the contract for the F-35 Lightning II, which was to be the largest fighter project since the F-16, with an initial order of 3000 planes. In the same decade, Lockheed Martin sold its Control and Aerospace Systems branches to BAE Systems. In 2006, the company won a NASA contract to build the Orion capsule for the Ares launch vehicle. In 2008, they acquired Nantero. Inc, a company which had developed methods of incorporating carbon nanotubes into electronics (You can read more about carbon nanotubes in  the respective post).
 
In this decade, Lockheed Martin has acquired a host of companies for various projects, and has also teamed up with Bell for the development of the V-280 Valor third-generation tilt-rotor aircraft. Lockheed Martin partnered with DreamHammer for their software expertise in unmanned aerial vehicles.  (Above): A Trident missile being launched from a submarine.
 
On the whole, Lockheed Martin is, and will continue to remain, one of the leading military-oriented aerospace companies in the world.
 
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