This week, Lockheed Martin has announced its decision to make Northern Alabama the central location for their Hypersonic Strike Work. With this choice, the defense contractor will build a new facility that will handle assembly, integration, and testing of hypersonics programs. And this new compound will actually include two new buildings that will support the company’s hypersonics programs portfolio. Perhaps most importantly, the flux will introduce at least 72 new jobs to the city of Courtland and at least 200 new jobs to the city of Huntsville over the next three years. Officials say that more job growth is expected after that.
Scott Keller is the vice president and general manager for Strategic and Missile Defense, at Lockheed Martin. He comments that the decision to move hypersonic manufacturing to this part of the country is a joint effort of the company and the people of Alabama. From local partners (Lawrence and Madison counties) to several city authorities, and even elected Congressional representatives, the expansion into Northern Alabama is something to celebrate.
Lockheed Martin is widely known as an industry leader in developing, testing, and fielding of hypersonic systems. The term “hypersonic” refers to anything that can travel autonomously at five times the speed of sound.
In fact, Lockheed Martin has quite a history with the state of Alabama. Their strong partnership goes back at least a few decades, with many people working in research and development on things like rockets and space launch vehicles. Lockheed Martin also employs engineers, scientists, and fabricators of tactical missiles, space exploration, and air and missile defense targets.
The contractor already employs approximately 2,000 people in the state of Alabama, serving partnerships with the US Air Force, the US Army, the US Navy, and the DARPA office. As you might expect, most of these jobs are going to be in high-tech industries, with many of these workers heading out to Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The US government has identified Hypersonic Strike capabilities as a critical capabilities that must be a vital component of the US National Security Strategy.