Lockheed Martin’s slogan is “we never forget who we’re working for.” That’s not difficult, given that the company receives some 84 percent of its revenue from the U.S. government, mostly the Pentagon. It is the largest federal contractor and the largest weapons producer in the world. It trails Boeing, United Technologies and EADS in total revenues, but those companies, unlike Lockheed Martin, have substantial revenue from civilian products. Most of the 16 percent of Lockheed’s revenues that doesn’t come from Uncle Sam comes from foreign governments.
Formed by the 1995 “merger of equals” of two long-time military contractors—Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp.—Lockheed Martin produces a wide range of combat aircraft (F-16, F-22, F-35 fighters, C-130 transports, etc.), combat ships, missiles (Hellfire, Javelin, Patriot, etc.), space systems (Hubble Space Telescope, Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, etc.), military electronics and even the new Presidential helicopter.
Lockheed has been involved in numerous controversies involving questionable foreign payments, overbilling of the federal government, race and age discrimination, and environmental racism. Yet it continues to receive a steady stream of new contracts and has made itself indispensable to the U.S. military establishment.