Lockheed Martin wants to double Javelin production: Ukrainians need to shoot more

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

The US arms factory Lockheed Martin has set itself the goal of doubling the production of FGM-148 counter-tank missiles Javelin, going from the current 2.100 systems produced to 4.000 per year. However, for this to happen, its supply chain needs to "get going", according to CEO James D. Taiclet.

While the United States send Javelin Lockheed is ramping up production from its military stockpiles to Ukrainian fighters fighting Russia, but achieving the goal could take a couple of years, Taiclet told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"We are trying to get production to 4.000 Javelins a year, and it will take a few months, maybe even a couple of years to get there, because we need to get our supply chain moving too.", Taiclet said. "We think we can almost double the capacity in a reasonable amount of time".

Congress could favor Lockheed by approving the Bipartisan Innovation Act to invest in the design, manufacture and testing of domestic microprocessors, to reduce dependence on foreign supplies, Taiclet said. Every Javelin contains 250 microprocessors and Lockheed is collaborating with the manufacturer Intel - he added.

Lockheed plans to expand its Troy, Alabama facility where it produces the Javelin with Raytheon Technologies. US President Joe Biden visited the plant last week and asked Congress to approve his proposed $ 33 billion aid package to Ukraine.

Taiclet's comments came after the Pentagon announced last Friday that the US Army will award the j Lockheed-Raytheon a $ 239 million contract amendment for the Javelin, with work due to be done in Tucson, Arizona, and completed in late 2025.

The contract, which dates back to 2019, has a ceiling of approximately $ 2,2 billion.

Taiclet further added to CBS that Lockheed Martin will anticipate increased demand from the United States and its allies for advanced weapon systems such as cruise missiles (Australia), anti-aircraft defenses and combat aircraft (Germany and Finland. ) due to threats from Russia and China. The company will hire more workers for its production lines in Texas and other locations.

Photo: Lockheed Martin