Lockheed Martin’s new $50M R&D building



Global defense firm Lockheed Martin Corp.’s plans to build a $50 million research and development center in west may be a big get for the local community.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company announced Feb. 14 plans to expand its Missiles & Fire Control division in Orlando by adding a 255,000-square-foot building. The new structure will support Lockheed Martin’s major defense contracts such as its $548 million deal to produce more than 7,300 Hellfire missiles, and its $900 million long-range cruise missile contract.

“We’ve been fortunate to sustain our already strong pipeline of business and secure some major new business to support Missiles & Fire Control work contracts announced last year,” Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Dana Casey told Orlando Business Journal. “This includes our sniper and legion pod programs, infrared search and track systems, the long-range anti-ship missile contract award, and more.”

The building project, slated for completion in 2019, is expected to create subcontractor opportunities for smaller firms in the area. Brasfield & Gorrie LLC was named the general contractor. The project may create 500 temporary construction jobs, based on industry standards. Lockheed Martin executives also announced that the firm is hiring 1,800 workers across the U.S. within two years and 500 of those jobs will be in Orlando, paying an average annual salary of $87,000.

Currently, Lockheed Martin has more than 650 jobs open on its website, calling for software and system engineers, program managers and more. Go here for tips on how to get a job with the defense contractor.

Nearly 1,000 employees will work in the new building, performing engineering work and program management activities like planning, finance and human resources. And because the new building may give Lockheed Martin the space and workforce to accept more defense contracts in Orlando, the expansion may trickle down to manufacturers and parts suppliers in the area.

“It’s hard to envision the exact implications [the new facility] will have, but in the near term, we can say there’s a significant amount of local contract work supporting the effort,” Casey said

In fact, the company each year contracts a total of $5.1 billion worth of work to more than 1,600 Florida suppliers, Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control and Special Operations Programs for Lockheed Martin