American aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin has opened a new manufacturing site to build hypersonic missiles for the US Navy and the US Army.
Located in Northern Alabama, the new factory is part of the firm’s goal of establishing new, purpose-built facilities capable of accelerating the development and reducing the cost of next-generation weapons.
According to Lockheed Martin official Eric Scherff, the company utilized digital engineering and design techniques, augmented and virtual reality in constructing the new facility. He also remarked that the site is expected to be one of the company’s flagship digital factories.
Scherf explained that the facility will allow Lockheed to utilize robotics in applying and measuring the application of certain features in producing hypersonic weapons.
The factory will also reportedly house suppliers, allowing them to be on hand for final inspection and integration.
‘Combatting Evolving Threats’
In a press release, Lockheed explained that building the 65,000 square-foot facility reflects the company’s commitment to establishing northern Alabama as its base for hypersonic strike programs.
It will also help the armed forces counter rapidly emerging threats. “Hypersonic strike capabilities are critical to combat evolving threats, giving our warfighters tools they need to complete complex missions,” vice president of Air Dominance and Strike Weapons at Lockheed, Jay Pitman, remarked.
The company’s vice president of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Sarah Hiza, claims that Lockheed’s long-time partnership with Alabama and the Department of Defense has allowed them to develop the most advanced hypersonic strike capabilities using the “best digital technologies.”