Lockheed Martin awarded billions as budget talks continue
The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)
PANAMA CITY -- Even after the federal budget cuts known as sequestration kicked in March 1, Lockheed Martin was able to garner more than $1 billion in federal military contracts during the first seven days of the month.
And going back a week before sequestration, with military furloughs, layoffs and cuts slated for implementation over the next month, Lockheed Martin was awarded more than $8 billion in military contracts from Feb. 20 to Thursday.
During that same time period, most of the contracts awarded by the DOD to other contractors have been in the $10 to $25 million range with only one other contract of more than $500 million.
Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Emily Caruso said the company would not comment on the number of contracts or amounts of money for each contract.
"You'll have to talk to our customers," said Caruso, referring to the U.S. military.
The Air Force issued a statement that noted that even though contracts have been awarded it doesn't mean programs can't be cut. A Navy spokesman said the contracts were part of a "congressional mandate."
"The Navy still has a job to do," said Chris Johnson, spokesman for the Navy. "Lockheed Martin is a very large company and very diversified."
On March 4, Lockheed Martin was awarded $696,629,123 for the construction of two Littoral Combat Ships, according to the DOD.
"We still need to buy ships and planes," Johnson said.
The mission modules of the ship are prepared at the U.S. Navy base in Panama City.
On the same day, the company was awarded $100,685,094 for engineering systems for technical, weapons and combat systems across the country, the DOD reported.
On March 5, the company was awarded more than $72 million in contracts for Air Force systems, some pertaining to the F-35 Lightning jet.
Lockheed Martin Services, Inc. was awarded a $70 million contract for a modification to its personnel services contract on Thursday. On the same day, Lockheed Martin was awarded more than $284 million for advanced procurement for the Space-Based Infrared Systems GEO 5-6 programs.
The night before sequestration went into effect, on Feb. 28, the DOD awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin totaling $333,786,000. The work is for maintenance of the accessories for the F-35 Lightning jet fighter and other aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps and Navy. The contract also included aircraft sales to the United Kingdom and Norway.
Reaching back a bit further, on Feb. 25, Lockheed Martin officials announced they were awarded two fixed-price contracts totaling $120 million to procure parts for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth next-generation Global Positioning System satellites, known as GPS III, according to the DOD.
On Feb. 20, Lockheed Martin was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling of $6.9 billion for F-22 modernization. F-22 pilots are trained at Tyndall Air Force Base.
Late last year, Lockheed Martin said it may have to slash 10,000 jobs if $500 billion in defense department cuts are enacted.
U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, declined to comment for this story; requests for comments from U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, were not answered.