Sunnyvale, California: Lockheed Martin's top executive hosted on Friday the Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at the company's Sunnyvale, California site.
Sunnyvale is home to many of the company's satellite programs as well as technologies for missile defense, solar array production and advanced research and development.
The Crown Prince and Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, toured advanced technologies for both air and missile defense and satellite communications. The visit included meeting with executives representing various programs in the company's portfolio, viewing key elements of the THAAD system and a tour of the satellite assembly and test facility where Lockheed Martin is building two communications satellites for Arabsat and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
"For more than 50 years, we have been proud to partner for the national security and economic growth of Saudi Arabia," Hewson said. "That's why it was a special honor to host His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman at our Space facility here in Silicon Valley.
THAAD is one of the key elements in the U.S. military's layered ballistic missile defense. It is one of most advanced missile systems on the planet and can hunt and blast incoming missiles right out of the sky from its truck-based launcher.
The interceptors fired from THAAD's launcher do not carry warheads and instead use pure kinetic energy to deliver "hit to kill" strikes to ballistic threats.
During the visit, he saw firsthand the powerful and innovative satellites being built for Arabsat, which will enhance the Kingdom's technological capabilities. He also met the Saudi engineers who have worked side-by-side with Lockheed Martin engineers to learn satellite assembly, integration, and test skills. And, together, they celebrated what these efforts will mean for building Saudi Arabia's future space industry and for increasing economic opportunity and job creation throughout the Kingdom."
In 2015 Arabsat and KACST awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for two LM 2100-based satellites: Arabsat-6A and Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1. The two satellites will provide advanced telecommunications capabilities, including television, internet, telephone and secure communications, to important government users and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Both satellites are slated for delivery in 2018.
Lockheed Martin has had a presence in Saudi Arabia since 1965 with the first delivery of the C-130 Hercules. Since then, the company has continued to work to expand its footprint in the Kingdom in integrated air and missile defense systems, tactical and rotary wing technologies, maritime systems and satellite communications. The company's presence is supported by training initiatives that encourage and train the next generation of Saudi talent –ensuring the sustainability of the aerospace and defense industry and to support the Kingdom's Vision 2030 objectives.
Saudi Arabia is one of the top clients of the Bethesda, Maryland-based defense contractor. Last year, Riyadh expressed intent to procure more than $28 billion worth of Lockheed Martin combat ships, aircraft and missile defense systems over the next 10 years.