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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Lockheed Martin Wins $17BN Interceptor Contract To Protect US Homeland

With one massive war in Eastern Europe grinding past two years and with another potential major war brewing in the Middle East, Western defense contractors are perhaps the only ones with a smile on their faces while much of the rest of humanity suffers.

On Monday the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced that Lockheed Martin has been awarded a new US government contract worth $17 billion, to develop the next generation of missile interceptor systems that would safeguard the homeland against intercontinental ballistic missile attack.

Illustration via northropgrumman.com

According to Reuters, “The multi-year contract covers the development of the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) to modernize the current Ground-Based Midcourse Defense program.”

“The network of radars, anti-ballistic missiles and other equipment is designed to protect the United States from intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the report continues.

This comes on the heels of record year for sales of US military hardware to foreign governments, which topped $238 billion – a record and 16% jump from the prior year. For its fiscal 2025 budget, the Biden White House is seeking a $28.4 billion set aside for missiles defenses.

The Missile Defense Agency said the following as part of its announcement: “MDA is confident in this decision based on the technical maturity of the solutions, objective contractor-provided performance data, technical rigor in the design development process and early testing built into the program from the onset.”

Reuters has noted that longtime Washington foes like North Korea and Iran are growing ever more capable in delivering long-range ballistic missile attacks. And for the US aerospace giant, “The win represents a shot in the arm for Lockheed after the U.S. said it wants to reduce F-35 orders and the Army said in February that it was abandoning development of a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, a next-generation helicopter for which Lockheed had submitted a design.”

In 2022 – closer to the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, described the surge in the market for weapons as the highest since the Cold War. “This is certainly the biggest increase in defense spending in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” he said. 

On the very same day of the announcement by MDA, pro-Palestine activists have targeted Lockheed’s Washington D.C. headquarters…

Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Lockheed’s stock price traded below $340 a share, the price increased to over $450 within a few months of the war’s start. On Monday, Lockheed shares closed up 0.60% at 453.08.

This post was originally published on this site

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