Lockheed Martin broke ground on an expansion to its cruise missile production facility in Troy, Ala., announced the company. Increased demand for the company’s long-range strike weapons drove the need for the 62,000-square-foot annex, states the company’s Feb. 27 release. The ground-breaking was on that same day. The annex will enlarge the existing 92,000-square-foot Pike County manufacturing plant and, over the next few years, will add 10 percent more full-time employees to the facility’s 400-plus-strong workforce, states the release. The project is slated for completion by spring 2015. Lockheed Martin builds the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile in Troy and also manufactured test articles there for its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile development program. LRASM is a JASSM derivative. “With this expansion, we plan to leverage our mature and reliable cruise missile production experience to offer affordable, low-risk, long-term capability to warfighters,” said Frank St. John, the company’s vice president of tactical missiles.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.