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Lockheed Martin breaks ground on $16.5M Huntsville missile defense lab

HUNTSVILLE — Lockheed Martin Space on Monday held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) Missile System Integration Lab.

The $16.5 million, 25,000-square-foot facility will initially serve to meet the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) needs relating to its efforts to modernize the United States’ defensive capabilities in the realm of missile warfare.

The star-studded ceremony included the attendance of U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), Gov. Kay Ivey, Madison County Commission chairman and fifth congressional district Republican nominee Dale Strong, and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

In detailing the lab’s establishment, Sarah Reeves, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s NGI program, spoke about the company’s longstanding presence in Huntsville and its investment in the new facility.

“Lockheed Martin has had a presence in the Huntsville community since 1963, and the new facility adds to our advanced portfolio to ensure engineering rigor through ground testing and integration, validating our approach well before we flight test,” noted Reeves. “The facility will be equipped with key infrastructure and communication capabilities, integrating the digital thread in all that we do and maturing the All Up Round as we prove out our design.”

According to Lockheed Martin, approximately 30 workers will support the facility’s operations relating to the NGI program.

The aerospace and defense industry powerhouse’s investment comes as the U.S. military seeks to bolster its capacity to protect the homeland against growing threats posed by foreign adversaries, namely the Chinese Communist Party.

While speaking on the role Huntsville played in the modernization of the nation’s missile defense arsenal, Tuberville, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asserted that the United States was “close to a war with China right now than we’ve ever been.”

In addition to performing work related to the NGI program, the facility’s future will also serve to meet the growing demands of other customers and partners such as the MDA.

Lockheed Martin, which has operated in Alabama for nearly six decades, presently employs more than 2,700 people across 25 facilities in the Yellowhammer State.

This year, the Lockheed Martin Space workforce is expected to grow by over 200 employees at the company’s sites in Huntsville and Courtland.

In October 2021, the defense industry juggernaut unveiled its 65,000-square-foot advanced hypersonic strike production facility in Courtland.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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