American defense firm Lockheed Martin has announced on Thursday that the U.S. Air Force and local Alabama officials joined company’s team to break ground on the company’s new strike systems production facility in Troy.
The planned 225,000-square-foot facility, combined with the current cruise missile production factory, will provide the necessary space to meet the U.S. Air Force’s objectives.
“This expansion represents Pike County Operations’ long-standing commitment to meet our customer’s current and future needs as well as to bring more well-paying jobs to the area,” said Frank St. John, executive vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “All our employees come to work with an unwavering commitment to help our customers succeed in their mission to create a more secure and prosperous world.”
Building construction is slated for completion in 2021 with Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) production ramping up in the second half of 2022.
For reference, JASSM and JASSM-ER are critical weapons for the U.S. Air Force. Extremely effective against high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocatable targets, the stealthy JASSM-ER is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B. JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, F-15E, and internationally, on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B.
Armed with a penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead, JASSM-ER and JASSM can be used in all weather conditions. They share the same powerful capabilities and stealth characteristics, though JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of JASSM for greater standoff distance. These highly accurate cruise missiles also employ an infrared seeker and enhanced digital anti-jam GPS to dial into specific points on targets.
“We’re pleased to see Lockheed Martin continue to invest in our community with the addition of this new manufacturing building,” said Jason Reeves, Troy Mayor. “Their growth not only leads to more jobs – it enhances sustainable growth for our region.”
Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations is the recipient of many continuous improvement and performance excellence awards.