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James Taiclet CEO Lockheed Martin

James Taiclet: Hypersonic Weapons Programs Drive Growth in Lockheed’s Space Segment

James Taiclet, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), said the company saw earnings growth in the space segment and attributed the increase to hypersonic weapons programs, Defense News reported Tuesday.

“When we speak of hypersonics, I think there’s a very big upside there because there’s a very big threat. It’s getting worse out of Russia and China, and the U.S. and its allies are going to have to meet it both on offensive and defensive hypersonic systems,” Taiclet said Tuesday during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

Taiclet said he expects the government to collaborate with industry to develop platforms to help counter kinetic and non-kinetic threats to ground stations and space assets. He also mentioned during the call a $187.5M contract the Space Development Agency awarded to Lockheed in August to provide space vehicles that will comprise Transport Layer Tranche 0.

Lockheed’s space business reported a 6 percent rise in net sales during the third quarter of 2020 driven by higher net earnings in government satellite and missile defense programs.

Overall, the company posted $16.5B in net sales and $150.4B in total backlog during the quarter. 

The quarterly earnings report came days after Lockheed announced that it teamed up with Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD) to compete for the Missile Defense Agency’s Next-Generation Interceptor program.

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