Lockheed Martin’s revenue from the rapidly growing area of hypersonic weapons could double to USD3 billion a year by the middle of the decade, according to a company official.
Lockheed Martin expects to have hypersonics sales of USD1.5 billion in 2021, up 25% from USD1.2 billion in 2020, said Kenneth Possenriede, the US defence contractor’s chief financial officer.
Several Lockheed Martin programmes are poised to achieve key development milestones or ramp up production over the next few years, fuelling revenue increases. Although one programme, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), was cancelled by the US Air Force last year, the funding has shifted to other Lockheed Martin efforts, said Possenriede.
“We had a couple risk retirements at the end of the year, so our programmes are performing,” he said.
Lockheed Martin is also growing its hypersonics revenue through acquisitions, such as its November 2020 purchase of the Hypersonics portfolio of US-based Integration Innovation Inc (i3). The proposed acquisition of US-based rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne for USD4.4 billion would also bolster Lockheed Martin’s hypersonics capabilities.
Possenriede made his comments as Lockheed Martin reported that its total net sales rose 7.3% to USD17 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. All four of the company’s business segments saw strong sales gains. Net earnings totalled USD1.8 billion in the fourth quarter, up 19.6% from the same period in 2019.
Despite operational and supply chain challenges caused by the coronavirus, Lockheed Martin’s net sales for 2020 climbed 9.3% to USD65.4 billion, while its net earnings jumped 9.7% to USD6.8 billion. The company ended the year with a USD147.1 billion backlog, up more than USD3 billion from 2019.