Lockheed aims to double production of Javelin anti-tank missiles, CEO says

Lockheed Martin Corp. intends to roughly double its production of anti-tank missiles Javelin, a key weapon in Ukraine’s defense against the invasion of Russia, chief executive James Taiclet said on Sunday.

In a Sunday morning interview on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Taiclet said the defense contractor was already preparing for an increase in production.

“So right now, our capacity is 2,100 Javelin missiles per year,” Margaret Brennan told host, according to a transcript. “We’re trying to bring it up to 4,000 a year, and that will take a few months, maybe even a couple of years to get there, because we need to get our supply chain up and running as well. “While we’re at it, we think we can almost double the capacity in a reasonable amount of time.”

Lockheed LMT,
+ 1.42%
makes the Javelin in conjunction with Raytheon Technologies Corp. RTX,

The Javelin has proved crucial for the Ukrainian army in denying Russia’s advantage in tanks and armored vehicles. Last week, President Joe Biden visited a Lockheed factory in Alabama where javelins are made, and Biden on Thursday urged Congress to approve $ 33 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Taiclet said the increase in production is underway even before the planned orders for Javelins and other weapons systems have been placed.

“We’re planning for the long term,” he said. “We know there will be increased demand for such systems from the United States and our allies, as well as beyond Asia-Pacific, most likely as well.”

Taiclet also said Lockheed is partnering with Intel Corp. INTC,
to manufacture advanced microprocessors that could be used for national defense systems, and said it would be “extremely useful” if Congress passed the Bipartisan Innovation Act, a $ 52 billion plan to boost domestic chip production.

“Our production line may work today, but in the future we will need more domestic and microprocessor capacity, not only design, but also manufacturing, testing, etc., so that we can ensure the supply of these microprocessors in the future.” he said. .

Shares of Lockheed have risen 26% so far compared to the S&P 500 SPX.
A 13% drop this year.

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