Lockheed Martin’s Grand Prairie-based Missiles and Fire Control division has been awarded a $6.1 billion contract to deliver Patriot missiles to the U.S. Army and its allies.
The PAC-3 MSE interceptor missiles will be delivered to the Army in fiscal years 2021-23 with an estimated contract completion date of June 30, 2027, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Lockheed has also signed agreements to deliver missiles to nine other allied countries — Bahrain, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie is the home of the PAC-3 missile program management office. Work on the interceptor missiles will also be completed in Lufkin; Huntsville, Ala.; Ocala, Fla.; Chelmsford, Mass.; Archbald, Pa.; and Camden, Ark., where Lockheed is building an 85,000-square-foot expansion to accommodate increased production.
Scott Arnold, Lockheed’s vice president of integrated air and missile defense, called the contract a demonstration of the Defense Department’s "continued confidence” in Lockheed to deliver “unmatched hit-to-kill technology that defeats the ever-expanding global threats of today and tomorrow.”
As a defense contractor, Lockheed has continued to operate nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic, providing what CEO Marillyn Hewson called “vital national security solutions" to the U.S.
The company didn’t report any disruptions to its business in the first quarter of the year but is now experiencing problems with “access to some locations and delays of supplier deliveries,” according to a company filing. As a result, Lockheed updated its sales guidance for this year as production and supply chain activities have slowed down in its aeronautics division, which produces the F-35 fighter jet in Fort Worth.
Workers at the company’s Fort Worth facility have spoken out recently about unsafe working conditions amid the pandemic. A Fort Worth Lockheed employee died in mid-April after telling a supervisor he was experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, just weeks after a petition began circulating calling for the company to shut down the facility.
Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control division led the company in overall growth in 2019, posting a 20% increase in net sales over the previous year. The business 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.