Dubai Airshow 2019: Interview with Senior Vice President, Lockheed Martin International.

Q: Now that Arab countries have become more “self-sufficient” through creating their own defense companies (EDGE, SAMI..), how will Lockheed Martin International run its business strategy in the region? 

A: We are partnering closely with regional government companies like EDGE and SAMI. In fact, on November 5th, we were thrilled to witness the launch of EDGE right here in the UAE. EDGE is a great opportunity for Lockheed Martin, and other partners, to engage with the UAE in a new and innovative way to help support their security needs while we help enable their own sovereignty and agility in navigating the current regional landscape.

As you know, many international defense sales require U.S. exporters like Lockheed Martin to work with local partners which, in turn, provides economic benefits to our allies. We see opportunities like EDGE and SAMI as a win-win for Lockheed Martin, our regional partners and the United States.  

Q: What are the current plans of actions to keep the company’s growth going for the next five years?

A: There are several areas of our business that we believe have the potential for tremendous growth. For example, missile defense is a key capability for Lockheed Martin and we’re seeing interest from customers in different parts of the world who want to learn more about the systems we offer.

We’re also focusing on technologies that have tremendous future growth potential Autonomous systems, directed energy and spectrum dominance are areas where we’re investing because we believe our customers’ interest will only continue to grow.

Q: Are you expecting an increase perhaps in one specific area (such as – but not limited to –  the missile defense sector) or are you playing multiple scenarios and building multiple plans?

A: We are focused on helping our international customers address their current and emerging threats. Right here in the Middle East, we are witnessing a time of tremendous change and upheaval. Governments here recognize that defense investment provides more than regional security, it also helps nations diversify their economies, and we are focused on helping our Middle East partners, protect the security of their citizens.

To that end, we’re seeing great demand for a range of capabilities in the areas of integrated air and missile defense, radars that help detect threats, and platforms like the F-16, S-76i and the Black Hawk.

Q: Your work has mainly focused on the IAMD field. How do you evaluate this area of activity in the region and what are the future plans to further boost the region’s capabilities in this domain?

A: Lockheed Martin concentrates on helping our regional customers take a holistic approach to layered defense by tying elements together with an integrated Command and Control structure. These combined elements ensure the right sensors, radars and effectors are used to detect and address current and emerging threats.

Q: How will you try to make LMI more customer focused?

A: At Lockheed Martin we are truly in partnership with our customers who are at the center of our focus. Senior leaders across our corporation work hard to build strong customer relationships by listening, engaging, and having candid conversations. The way we do this at Lockheed Martin International is through our local country teams led by a strong group of Chief Executives who sit with our customers in their countries and speak with our customers regularly. They are living our customers’ challenges and ensure that our corporation understands their priorities, challenges and requirements today and into the future.

Q: What goals do you have for your company and what challenges will you have to overcome?

A: My objective is to help our international customers solve their security challenges through Lockheed Martin’s technology portfolio. Right now approximately 30% of our overall sales come from outside of the U.S., and I aim to increase our international opportunities through strengthening partnerships in place like the Middle East where we’ve had a footprint for over fifty years and in growing new relationships in emerging markets around the world.

While I just started in my international role last month, I’ve had a chance to speak with many customers during visits here in the Middle East, and leaders made it clear to me that regional security is top of mind – whether its combating increased maritime or drone threats— we are looking for opportunities to meet their national security requirements.

Q: What do you feel is the biggest strength of LMI right now?

A: Our biggest strength is the 7,000 men and women who comprise Lockheed Martin’s International workforce. They are a force multiplier to enable us to support over 70 customer nations around the world, and I am confident that our team will grow even stronger and continue to help our international customers overcome the challenges of tomorrow. 

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