Exclusive Content:

CEO Taiclet: Lockheed Martin Ramping Up Defense Weapons Production


Defense giant Lockheed Martin is ramping up — and hiring — to meet the weapon needs of Ukraine and other allies, its CEO Jim Taiclet said Sunday.

Taiclet told CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” the increase for weapons intended for Ukraine is significant.

“Right now, our capacity is 2,100 Javelin missiles per year,” he said of the much-needed defense weapon for Ukraine as it battles a Russian invasion. “We’re endeavoring to take that up to 4,000 per year, and that will take a number of months, maybe even a couple of years to get there, because we have to get our supply chain to also crank up. As we do so, we think we can almost double the capacity in a reasonable amount of time.”

The company is also concentrating on increasing production of Stingers.

“We’re starting now to ramp it up because we have an active production line right now,” he said.

“And also, we’ve got a supply chain that’s active in addition to that. So we can start turning up the heat now and ramping the production immediately because of those circumstances.”

But the company is planning for the future, according to Taiclet.

“We’re planning for the long run and not just in the Javelin, because this situation, the Ukraine conflict, has highlighted a couple of really important things for us,” he said.

“One is that we need to have superior systems in large enough numbers. So like Javelin, Stingers, advanced cruise missiles, equipment like that. So we know there’s going to be increased demand for those kinds of systems from the U.S. and for our allies as well and beyond into Asia-Pacific, most likely too.”

“The second really valuable lesson was control of the airspace is really critical,” he continued. “So the Ukrainians are managing to control their airspace. The Russian air force doesn’t have free rein over the entire country. And the reason that they don’t is because the Ukrainians can still fly their aircraft and they also have a pretty effective integrated air and missile defense system.”

Taiclet said systems like the F-16, F-35, Patriot missiles, VAD missiles are going to be in increased demand “because the threat between Russia and China is just going to increase even after the Ukraine war.”

“Regionally, Iran and North Korea are not going to get less active,” he said. “Probably they’re going to get more active. So we want to make sure we can supply our allies and our country what they need to defend against that.”

Support from Congress will be “extremely helpful,” Taiclet said, because production will take “years.”

“So we’re collaborating right now, for example, with Intel, it’s one of our partners and trying to drive what we call 21st century security into national defense,” he said.

“And we’re going to need the most advanced processors and we’re going to need them to be customizable to defense needs as well. So having that domestic capability, again, too – all the way through production and testing – is going to be more important in the future than it is even today.”

The good news for the labor force is the effort will mean hiring.

“We’re recruiting heavily. We’ve got a very strong workforce in Fort Worth, Texas, where we make the F-35,” he said. “So that production line is running just fine now. We’ve got sufficient employees there to do that. But in other parts of the country and ultimately in Texas, we’re going to need to actually hire more people.”

Related Stories:

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



Don't miss

Las Vegas jiggle joint ‘stands with Ukraine’ by auditioning strippers from war-torn nation

A strip club outside of Las Vegas is supporting Ukrainians in their struggle against the Russian invasion by hiring strippers from the war-torn...