Lockheed Martin breaks ground on new Alabama missile production facility

Lockheed Martin breaks ground on new Alabama missile production facility
A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) approaches its target. Lockheed Martin is accelerating production of the missile with an expansion at its campus in Troy. (contributed)

Lockheed Martin officially launched construction on a new missile facility at its Pike County campus, where the company is accelerating production of strike systems.

Lockheed Martin said the new 225,000-square-foot facility, combined with the current cruise missile production factory on the Troy site, will provide the necessary space to meet the U.S. Air Force’s objectives.

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, second from left, joins Lockheed Martin executives and U.S. Air Force officials for a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark an expansion of the company’s missile factory in Pike County. (Lockheed Martin)

“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.”

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, joined Lockheed Martin executives and U.S. Air Force officials at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Troy location.

“We strive to provide a foundation in Alabama that allows aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin to establish world-class facilities that are positioned for expansion opportunities,” Canfield said. “Over the quarter century, the company’s Troy missile facility has grown from 30 employees to around 500 today, and the number is still growing.

“We look forward to seeing additional job creation in coming years.”

Lockheed Martin displayed the JASSM at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow. The company is accelerating production of the strike system with an expansion of its Alabama missile facility. (contributed)

Growth plans

Lockheed Martin said construction on the new Alabama facility is set for completion in 2021 with Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) production ramping up in the second half of 2022.

“We’re pleased to see Lockheed Martin continue to invest in our community with the addition of this new manufacturing building,” Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said.

“Their growth not only leads to more jobs — it enhances sustainable growth for our region.”

Lockheed Martin last initiated an expansion in Pike County in 2014, when it launched a project that was to create 224 full-time jobs over five years. The hiring milestones on that $65 million project have been met.

AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, has been assisting Lockheed Martin’s Pike County operation for 25 years and opened a $2 million, 7,000-square-foot Advanced Training Center on the campus in 2017.

Today, Lockheed Martin is collaborating with AIDT to embrace the future of workforce development through piloting virtual reality, or VR, training.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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