Lockheed Martin is a global security company focused on domestic
and foreign defense and civil markets, with the U.S. Department of
Defense and other federal government agencies accounting for the
majority of its business. Historically, more than 80 percent
of the firm's annual revenue has come from the U.S. government,
with sales to international governments and a small amount of
commercial activity making up the remainder.
The firm designs and manufactures advanced technology systems and
products, and also offers management, engineering, technical,
scientific, logistics and information services. Its
activities are organized around four principal areas: aeronautics,
electronic systems, information systems and global services
(IS&GS), and space systems. It maintains locations in 500
cities and 46 U.S. states, as well as in 75 foreign countries and
Lockheed Martin's current incarnation is surprisingly young,
having come into being in 1995 when Martin Marietta merged with
Lockheed Aircraft. Martin Marietta was a manufacturer of
building materials and chemicals, as well as electronics and
aerospace products. Founded in 1961, it built the first
intercontinental ballistic missiles. Following some difficult
years of asset sell-offs and complicated takeover attempts, the
company combined with Lockheed Aircraft in 1995.
Lockheed Aircraft was founded in 1926 by early aviators Allan and
Malcolm Loughead (switched to its phonetic spelling of Lockheed
upon incorporation). The brothers presided over the creation
of a number of major American aircraft, among them the P-38
Lightning fighter, the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71 Blackbird spy
plane. The company was implicated in a highly damaging
bribery case over contributions made to foreign government
officials from the 1950s through the 1970s to guarantee
manufacturing contracts. The scandal nearly upended the
company, but it was eventually able to right itself through
management changes and increased discipline in its practices.
Lockheed Aircraft would go on to produce the Hubble Space Telescope
and the F-117A stealth fighter before the merger with the also
weathered Martin Marietta.
Above and below
For so young a company, Lockheed Martin has an exceptionally high
profile. Even the layman is familiar with the name, and can
probably identify it as a maker of fighter jets and other military
aircraft. These activities, carried out by the aeronautics
practice, are not all the firm does, however, though they might be
the most glamorous. The electronic systems practice designs,
researches, develops, integrates and maintains high-performance
systems for undersea, shipboard, land and airborne
applications. The space system practice designs and develops
satellites, long-range missiles and airborne defense systems, while
the information and global technology practice, through which the
firm's consulting is done, offers business process management,
e-government, enterprise architecture, homeland security,
information assurance and systems development and integration.
Clients of Lockheed Martin's IT consulting services include
defense, intelligence and other government agencies, among them the
Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Commerce
Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and Transportation,
as well as NASA, the Social Security Administration and the U.S.
Postal Service. The practice has also worked with the
governments of China and the U.K.