Lockheed Martin Increases JASSM Missile Production in Troy, Alabama
TROY, AL, 27-MAY-04 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and members of the Department of Defense celebrated the expansion of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production facility today at its Pike County Operations in Troy, AL. The expansion allows JASSM production to increase to a rate of 40 missiles per month.
The facility expansion allows for full-rate production of missiles in Lots 4 and beyond. The U.S. Air Force expects to procure 4,900 JASSMs over the life of the program.
Maj. Gen. Robert W. Chedister, Commander, Air Armament Center, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin Air Force Base, FL, was the keynote speaker at the JASSM expansion ceremony.
JASSM is an incredible leap in our ability to swiftly defeat even the toughest enemy in his own back yard, said Maj. Gen. Robert W. Chedister. We are eternally grateful to the men and women who have worked so hard, and for so long, to make our job of defending this nation that much easier. We needed JASSM, and you delivered!
Our Troy facility is truly a world class production facility and we have made it even better, said Randy Bigum, Strike Weapons vice president at Lockheed Martin. The facility enhancements enable us to increase production rates and to produce JASSM-Extended Range (ER) and other follow-on JASSM preplanned product improvements (P3I) in the same facility without impacting regular JASSM production.
Lockheed Martin's award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy has been producing the JASSM missile in a production environment since late 1999 for Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) testing, and completed the Lot 1 Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of 76 missiles. During the LRIP Lot 2 missile build, Lockheed Martin expanded the Troy JASSM facility to increase production capability to 40 missiles per month.
The Troy facility completed delivery of 42 Lot 1 missiles for the B-52 Required Assets Available (RAA) in September 2003, ahead of schedule. Additionally, the program delivered 53 missiles to the B-2 community for the RAA.
We have met or exceeded all program commitments and have been extremely successful in getting to production rates during EMD, said Mike Inderhees, JASSM program director at Lockheed Martin. The Troy facility's ability to get to full rate has been a direct result of their Lean Initiatives, which streamlined production processes and product flow.
The JASSM facility expansion was approved in January 2003 with construction initiated in June 2003. The 43,176-square-foot expansion doubles the current building size and quadruples its capacity. The facility expansion is now completed and will support production at the maximum rate by mid-2005. Lean Six-Sigma manufacturing principles were applied to make the new expansion area and the existing area highly efficient, with state-of-the-art automated process controls. New transport equipment and tools were integrated into the conveyorized system, improving the missile operator's ergonomic and environmental work areas by eliminating many of the manual steps previously required.
Lockheed Martin has had a successful business relationship with the state of Alabama for the past 10 years. As a result of strong state and local partnership over the years, Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations has amassed a string of national, state and industry awards for production, quality, security and environment and safety excellence. The Troy facility has been honored with Industry Week's America's Best Plants award, the Defense Investigative Service Cogswell Award, the 2002 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing and the 2002 Alabama Manufacturer of the Year award.
The JASSM and its associated technologies elevate Pike County Operations to the next level in missile production, said Jody Glazner, Pike County Operations plant manager. Likewise, the new all-up round facility expansion takes JASSM production operations to the next level in terms of material movement and process automation. At full production, JASSM will employ well more than 100 people, approximately double the existing workforce. The expansion completion is a significant milestone for Pike County Operations as well as Alabama. The State of Alabama has been extremely supportive and a great partner in facilitating efforts to bring several production lines online and to make expansion and rate capability increases a reality.
The Pike County Operations facility is a manufacturing and final assembly plant for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Pike County Operations is now recognized throughout the Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Strike Weapons Center of Excellence. The facility supports several production programs: Javelin, Longbow, Hellfire and Predator in the tactical missiles mission area; and the JASSM and AGM-142 missile programs in the strike weapons mission area.
Through the expansion of existing programs and the addition of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile production program, Joint Common Missile program and the Loitering Attack Missile program, Pike County Operations plans to build more facilities and gradually add a significant number of employees over the next few years.
JASSM enables aircrews to strike high value, heavily defended targets from outside the range of enemy air defenses. JASSM is a 2,000-pound class weapon with a multi-purpose penetrator warhead. It is planned for deployment on B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, and F/A-18E/F aircraft. It cruises autonomously in adverse weather, day or night, defeating the target with pinpoint accuracy.