“The corporation achieved another quarter of strong operational and financial results across all four of our businesses, which allowed us to grow our backlog to a new record level and to increase our financial outlook for 2019,” Lockheed Martin chief executive Marillyn Hewson said in a statement.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continued to be a cash cow for the Bethesda-based defense contractor, with 29 deliveries in the most recent quarter. And executives said the fastest growth occurred in the company’s missiles and fire control segment, which got a boost from strong orders for Hellfire missiles and other precision-guided weaponry, research and development work on hypersonic missile systems, a sizable order for missile defense systems from the Saudi government, and some new work under classified programs.
The company recently became the primary control for the Army’s hypersonic strike program, one of the military weapons development efforts that could soon scale up into a production phase — something Lockheed executives said would take another two years. In a call with investors, Hewson said the recent opportunities would bring Lockheed’s value for hypersonics contracts to over $3.5 billion.
The favorable results come a month after the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin reached a tentative agreement for 470 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, a $34 billion order that would be the largest procurement in Defense Department history.
Hewson downplayed the government’s decision to cancel an order of 100 F-35 fighter jets for Turkey. The decision is a difficult one for Lockheed because hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of orders have been canceled and because some F-35 parts are produced in Turkey.
Hewson said the company has been working for months to “wind down” the Turkish portion of the company’s supply chain and expects the issue to be resolved by March 2020. Executives said that the Pentagon has requested funds from Congress to assist with the transition and that they expect the Pentagon to compensate the company for adjustments to the program.
She said the Turkish component of the recent $34 billion order included just eight jets per year, out of a total deal volume of 470.
“The U.S. government made this difficult decision, and as always we will follow any official guidance as it relates to the delivery of the F-35 to Turkey, or the export of goods from the Turkish supply chain,” Hewson told investors.
This story has been updated.