Next president will not cut defense spending, says Lockheed Martin CEO

FORT WORTH, Texas, 29 April 2008. The top executive of Lockheed Martin Corp., the Bethesda, Md.-based defense contracting behemoth, says he does not believe the next U.S. president will cut military spending "in any wholesale fashion."

Apr 29th, 2008

FORT WORTH, Texas, 29 April 2008. The top executive of Lockheed Martin Corp., the Bethesda, Md.-based defense contracting behemoth, says he does not believe the next U.S. president will cut military spending "in any wholesale fashion."


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Robert Stevens, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin made his comment in an interview published Friday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Lockheed Martin is the nation's largest defense contractor.

Sustaining defense spending is vital to the U.S. economy, Stevens says. "The reason I say that is the sense that we have, and the sense I think others have, of the demands in the global-security environment," he says. "I think those demands do require investment, and those investments are a prudent application of resources to protect a $14 trillion economy and 300 million American citizens."

Stevens acknowledges rapidly changing national-security priorities and stresses the importance the military contractor's ability to move quickly to meet new military threats. "Some elements of security have a more natural long cycle, and some have a more natural short cycle," Stevens says, pointing out that insurgency and counterinsurgency needs "change by the minute."

Stevens says it is more important than ever for defense contractors to invest in the right technologies. "One of the interesting challenges of our business is to make the right investment in the right technology to align with the right systems in the cycle we're talking about," he says.

"Some parts of our business are adapting to the short things and some parts of our business are thinking 50 years from now," Stevens continues. "If you want to challenge yourself intellectually, tell me what you think the world will look like 50 years from now. We have more than a dozen programs that have been active and in-service for five decades. It is not an exaggeration for us to talk about, in our planning horizon, not the next four quarters but the next 40 years.

For more information contact the Fort Worth Star-Telegram online at www.star-telegram.com.

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