Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Lockheed Martin will manufacture interceptors for the Army's Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Things are about to get a whole lot busier for the 350 Lockheed Martin employees working in the Pike County Operations facility in Troy, Ala.

Lockheed Martin secured a $528 million U.S. Army contract on Jan. 4 to create more interceptors for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a key component of the U.S. Army’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The THAAD system is designed to intercept enemy missiles in mid-air, destroying them long before they reach their intended target.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Army is not the only nation interested in the capabilities of the highly advanced weapon system.

The United Arab Emirates is the first international buyer of the THAAD system. Their desire for missile defense may be echoed by many other Middle Eastern nations in light of increasing tensions related to regional missile programs. The same scenario also is playing out in Asia, following North Korea’s claim that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. The U.S. Army already has one THAAD battery stationed in Guam amid rising tensions in the area, and more presence in Asia could be inevitable.

American missile defense systems were successfully employed during the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In Eastern Europe, American missile defense units are utilized to protect NATO allies from potential Russian aggression.

The THAAD system provides a decisive advantage in 21st century warfare, and the quality of Lockheed’s Alabama plant and its staff of more than 350 American workers play a vital role in the creation of the battle tested missile defense system. The Pike County Lockheed Martin facility has been the recipient of numerous awards for excellence, including twice receiving Industry Week magazine’s Best Plants award.