Orlando Lockheed Martin's $1 billion ARRW contract could help company add 1,000 jobs
By MARCO SANTANA | Orlando Sentinel | Published: December 5, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — A nearly $1 billion contract to develop a hypersonic missile for the U.S. Army could help Lockheed Martin meet its goal of adding 1,000 workers in Central Florida by 2023.
A $23 million award that is part of that contract will allow it to design, test and prepare the high-speed weapon for production, with all of that work expected to be done in Orlando.
It’s just one of several Orlando-centric projects expected at Orlando Lockheed next year, along with advanced simulation and aircraft sensors expected to be developed here.
The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, would travel at more than 15,000 mph, or Mach 20. It’s the latest weapon in the worldwide race for better military armaments.
Lockheed Martin, which employs more than 8,000 people at various sites in Central Florida, launched an effort to increase its focus on the region late last year. As part of that, the plan was to reach 9,000 employees by 2023.
“We have watched for the past few years as city leaders worked extremely hard to position the city as a center for high technology and innovative jobs,” said Amy Gowder, Lockheed’s Orlando-based vice president and general manager of training and logistics for its Rotary and Mission Systems division.
Gowder made the comments this week at the defense industry’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, where the company was showing off its projects hoping to attract more partnerships.
Right now, Lockheed Martin lists 750 job openings in Orlando, with positions that include software engineers, power supply designers and machinists.
ARRW is one of two hypersonic missile contracts that Lockheed Martin landed with the U.S. Army. The program initially awarded $480 million to the company to do initial design work and procure the necessary materials.
On Monday, the contract’s worth grew to $988 million to cover the rest of the program, which includes $23 million for the Orlando work.
Since 2014, the company has secured more than $10 billion in contracts that required work in Orlando while growing from 5,500 employees to 8,000.
“Even if people don’t work directly for us, we have 300 suppliers in the Orlando area,” Gowder said. “By any means measurable, we consider ourselves very, very fortunate. We have deep roots in the city of Orlando.”
©2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.