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Lockheed Sees Missile Defense Opportunities Overseas

By | August 27, 2007

      Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] sees a good possibility it may reap new missile defense business opportunities among friendly nations, especially for Patriot upgrades, company officials said at a briefing for journalists last week.

      The Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) system can take out several types of air threats including air-breathing missiles, and Japan and the Netherlands already are on board for the program advancement.

      “There are a number of nations that have expressed interest” in the PAC-3 system, said Dennis Cavin, Lockheed vice president of international business development with Lockheed Missiles and Fire Control.

      The Patriot program also involves Raytheon Co. [RTN] as systems integrator.

      Nine nations today field Patriot missile systems, and many have been in discussions with the United States for possible upgrades, Cavin said.

      Cavin added that he isn’t able to discuss confidential talks. “There have been some exchanges of information,” he said.

      He did note that Israel has PAC-2 assets that haven’t yet been upgraded to PAC-3.

      Israel is concerned with the enormous threat it faces from Muslim terrorist groups, insurgents and rogue elements, he indicated.

      If the United States decides to develop further space-based assets, Lockheed would be interested in such a contract, David Kier, vice president for missile defense, indicated.

      Briefers also noted that there are some key tests looming.

      There will be a U.S. Navy Aegis ship-based ballistic missile intercept test in November against multiple targets, and a Japanese-ship test toward the end of the year.

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