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[*] posted on 17-12-2019 at 09:15 PM


Lockheed Martin adding funding to Sikorsky Colombia to serve as Latin American hub

Pat Host, Washington, DC - Jane's Defence Industry

16 December 2019


Lockheed Martin in 2017 was selected by the Chilean Navy to upgrade its Type 23 frigates. Source: US Navy

Lockheed Martin is adding funding to its Sikorsky Colombia division so that it may act as a springboard for the parent company's Latin American business development aspirations.

John Lopes, Lockheed Martin International director for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Jane's on 13 December that this additional funding will allow Lockheed Martin employees who are not part of Sikorsky to utilise Sikorsky Colombia's Bogota office and its administrative support. Lopes said, for example, if his space or aeronautical colleagues need offices, conference rooms for meetings, or transportation, they can now get this from Sikorsky Colombia.

Lockheed Martin announced on 22 November that it was opening an office in Chile and had hired a Chilean aerospace executive, Patricia Tobar, to support business pursuits across Latin America. These developments are an expansion of the company's presence in the region as Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky has facilities in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. The Chilean office will be in Santiago.

"I envision this as the first step, but as business grows, we hope to grow with it," Lopes said. "[We] will use the Sikorsky Colombia office as a launch pad for other business development efforts."

Lopes told Jane's on 3 December at Expodefensa in Bogota that the company is partnering with Chile's ASMAR Shipyards and its planning office to prepare for future Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile) modernisation plans. Lockheed Martin, he said, signed a contract in February 2017 with the navy for Type 23 Frigate modernisation, known as combat systems integration.

Lopes said Lockheed Martin, as part of this contract, will integrate sensors and weapons into one combat system and then install this into a ship the navy wants modified. This is a great way, he said, to modernise an older vessel into modern combat standards and do it in a way that saves money and keeps the company close to the customer.

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[*] posted on 24-12-2019 at 11:28 AM


Lockheed Martin awarded $7bn contract to maintenance F-22 fleet

By Garrett Reim24 December 2019

Lockheed Martin was awarded a five-year contract worth $7 billion for maintenance of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

The contract is an option exercised by the US Air Force (USAF) from its ongoing sustainment deal with Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense says in an online notice on 20 December. This additional five-year contract will extend the service’s contract work with Lockheed Martin through 31 December 2032.


Source: US Air Force
574th Aircraft Maintenance Sqaudron maintainer performs depot maintenance on F-22 Raptor at Hill Air Force Base Utah


Work will be performed at a variety of operational bases, support hubs and overseas locations – wherever the F-22 is deployed, according to the Pentagon.

Lockheed Martin produced 195 examples of the F-22, with the last stealth fighter rolling off its production line in 2012. The USAF plans to operate the aircraft until at least 2045.

The F-22 fleet is maintained under a performance-based logistics contract, says Lockheed Martin. Typically, under performance-based logistics contracts suppliers are awarded a flat fee to maintain a certain level of performance, such as mission readiness, for an aircraft, rather than just supply parts or repair services.

“About 50% of the maintenance performed on the F-22 is related to repairing the low observable stealth coatings that are damaged when the aircraft is opened up for routine maintenance,” says Lockheed Martin on its website.

The company says it is working on several initiatives to reduce the amount of low observable coating repair work needed on the F-22. Cutting labour from stealth coating repairs is especially important as the USAF tries to execute its “agile” basing strategy, a form of expeditionary warfare that envisions its fighters quickly hopping around to different air bases so as to make it difficult for an enemy to strike the aircraft on the ground.

Separately, Lockheed Martin is upgrading the F-22 via the 3.2B software modernisation package. That program upgrade includes the integration of two new air intercept missiles, the AIM-9X and AIM-120D.
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[*] posted on 24-1-2020 at 07:36 PM


Senator calls for investigation after whistleblowers raise concerns about C-130 production practices

By: Valerie Insinna   9 hours ago


A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules lands at Camp Simba, Kenya, Aug. 26, 2019. (Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer/Air Force)

WASHINGTON — Until recently, Lockheed Martin employees manufacturing the C-130J may have been exposed to harmful chemicals, and the Defense Department may have ignored worker concerns, a U.S. senator said Thursday.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who leads the Senate Finance Committee, is calling for an investigation by the Defense Department’s inspector general due to the worker claims, which were made by multiple whistleblowers, Grassley said in a statement.

“Any and every contract with the American government needs to live up to the standards set out in law,” he said. “It appears the deficient oversight of this contract left American workers in the lurch while the taxpayer money kept flowing. Whatever the reason, we ought to know why the department failed to provide oversight and recommend corrective action in a timely manner.”

The C-130J Super Hercules is the newest model of the C-130, a four-engine turboprop transport aircraft that has been in service since the 1950s. It is built in Marietta, Ga.

In a Jan. 22 letter to Glenn Fine, the department’s principal inspector general, Grassley wrote that, over multiple years, Lockheed employees habitually used a chemical called PR-148 in the making of a C-130J fuel tank in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer’s directions —specifically, using the product in aerosol form. (PPG Aerospace, which manufactures the chemical, states on its website that PR-148 should be applied with a brush or gauze.)

The whistleblowers claimed that using PR-148 in aerosol form created a “large blue cloud” of particles that was equivalent to being exposed to and inhaling “industrial strength airplane glue,” according to Grassley’s letter.

Employees brought health concerns and, later, health issues they believed to be caused by the chemical to Lockheed, but were ignored, he wrote. The letter does not detail the health concerns or symptoms of the employees. It also does not state exactly when the use of the chemical in aerosol form occurred.

A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin declined to comment on the letter.

After several years, the Defense Department eventually began investigating the workers’ claims, only to suspend the investigation after Lockheed stated it would no longer use that chemical in aerosol form, Grassley said.

Grassley argued that the contracting officer representative on site potentially had become too friendly with Lockheed officials — failing at the core responsibility of holding the company accountable to labor and safety laws.

“This raises concerns regarding government contractor oversight and the objectivity, or at least competence, of those tasked with this oversight role,” he said. “Despite the obvious safety hazard, DOD’s COR presumably failed to ask elementary questions regarding possible health concerns, or review basic documents involved with the proper use and handling of hazardous chemicals.”

Grassley asked for the inspector general to investigate the effectiveness of department oversight of the C-130J contract, and specifically answer why the initial investigation was cut short after Lockheed amended its use of PR-148. He also requested the IG provide recommendations of reforms in an unclassified report.

Although the C-130 is beloved by military pilots due to its reputation as a dependable workhorse of an aircraft, its many years of service have not been without difficulties and mishaps.

In 2019, the Air Force temporarily removed a quarter of its H and J models from service to investigate potential cracks in the lower center wing joint after cracking was found in one plane. In 2018, a separate investigation found that systemic maintenance failures at an Air Force depot led to a crash of a KC-130T that killed 16 service members.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 09:00 PM


Lockheed offers cash to supply chain, use of private jets for COVID-19 fight

By: Aaron Mehta   16 hours ago


Lockheed Martin has announced steps to support the defense-industrial base in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, announced a series of steps Friday to bolster the defense-industrial base to keep it humming along and to assist in the broader effort against the new coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement posted on Lockheed’s website, CEO Marillyn Hewson said the company recognizes “that the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its wide-ranging impacts have caused severe disruption across society and tragic loss of life around the world.

We also recognize that the global pandemic has created a need for urgent action by government, business, communities and citizens.”

“We will do our part to use our know-how, resources, and leadership as a company to assist our communities and our country during this period of national crisis,” Hewson wrote, before laying out a series of moves she called an “initial contribution” to the COVID-19 relief efforts.

The company plans to advance “more than $50 million” to small and medium-sized companies in its supply chain to “ensure they have the financial means to continue to operate, sustain jobs and support the economy.” Pentagon officials and outside experts alike have raised concerns about risk to small companies in the supply chain.

Lockheed is also dipping into a $6.5 million disaster relief fund to assist employees and retirees who are impacted by the disease, and will donate $10 million to nonprofit organizations involved in outbreak relief efforts, with an emphasis on veteran and military family issues.

Additionally, Hewson pledged the use of the company’s corporate aircraft and vehicle fleet for the delivery of medical supplies and for logistical support. She also offered the use of company facilities for “crisis-related activities including critical medical supply storage, distribution, and COVID-19 testing, where needed and practical,” as well as the company’s technical and engineering skills if states or the federal government require assistance.

The company plans to continue recruitment and hiring despite the current economic downturn, using virtual technology and other social distancing tools.

Lockheed brought in more than $53.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2018, 94 percent of which came from defense contracts, according to the annual Defense News Top 100 rankings.
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