Lockheed Martin’s Grand Prairie-based Missiles and Fire Control division led the company in overall growth in 2019, posting a 20% increase in net sales over the previous year.
“It was a year that we delivered outstanding strategic operational and financial performance,” Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said on a call with analysts Tuesday.
Missiles and Fire Control is one of four business segments at defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, and it is focused on developing and producing rocket and missile systems for the U.S. military and its allies. Although not the largest portion of the company, it has demonstrated exceptional growth in the last year compared with other business areas, including the company’s aerospace department, which produces F-35 fighter jets in Fort Worth.
The missiles segment’s sales rose 14% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier. Year over year, sales grew $1.7 billion, a 20% increase, according to the company’s latest earnings report.
That growth was due, in part, to an outsized year for sales of its missile programs, including its hypersonics, the company said.
“We overachieved on orders planned this year by north of $20 million, and two of the big drivers were space and missiles and fire control,” executive VP and CFO Kenneth R. Possenriede said.
But Lockheed doesn’t expect that growth to necessarily continue at the same rate this year. Possenriede told investors at a conference in December that he expects Missiles and Fire Control’s growth to be “a little less.”
The Grand Prairie-based unit employs roughly 3,500 of Lockheed’s 15,000 total employees working on the company’s advanced manned and unmanned rocket and missile programs.