Lockheed Martin this week announced it has closed on the acquisition of Huntsville-based Integration Innovation Inc.’s (i3) hypersonics portfolio.
Terms of acquiring this portion of the Rocket City software and systems engineering company were not disclosed.
A release advised that the acquisition expands Lockheed’s capabilities to design, develop and produce integrated hypersonic weapon systems for its customers.
Lockheed’s hypersonics program is based in Courtland, Alabama, which is less than an hour away from Huntsville.
“Our customers require the most forward-thinking, advanced technology that anticipates and addresses their national security requirements. This business combination not only reinforces our commitment to their missions, but also expands our portfolio in a strategic way,” stated Eric Scherff, vice president of Hypersonic Strike Programs at Lockheed. “Combining i3’s talent and domain expertise with our shared vision for hypersonic strike will expand how we think about and deliver this critical capability to the warfighter across domains.”
Mike Wicks, the former CEO of i3, has been named vice president of the Hypersonic Engineering & Accelerated Technologies program within the Hypersonic Strike Portfolio for Lockheed Martin Space.
“We’re proud to be a part of the Lockheed Martin family, as they are a technology authority and employ some of the best and brightest in the industry,” said Wicks. “We have invested much time and energy into developing strategic solutions at i3. And, we’re finding the need to synergize these offerings with Lockheed Martin is more timely than ever and unlocks the value to our joint customers.”
The U.S. Army last year awarded Lockheed a $347 million contract to serve as its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) prototype system integrator.
In addition to much of this work being conducted in Lawrence County, Lockheed chose Huntsville-based Dynetics (now a Leidos company) to work on this project, developing launchers with hydraulics, outriggers, power generation and distribution for the ground platform. Dynetics will further provide flight test and training support. Moreover, i3 was named as a part of that Lockheed-led LRHW team.
Separately, Dynetics Technical Solutions last year was also awarded an Army contract in the amount of $351.6 million to produce Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) prototypes in Huntsville. In turn, Dynetics selected Lockheed as a subcontractor on this project.
Both contracts are part of the Army’s work to advance the fielding of a prototype hypersonic weapon by Fiscal Year 2023 and transition the development of Army hypersonic capabilities out of government laboratories and into commercial production.
Beyond North Alabama’s private sector expertise in hypersonics, this collaboration is administered by the Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), which is headquartered at Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal.
The C-HGB is intended for use by not just the Army but also the Navy and the Missile Defense Agency, which is anchored in Huntsville.
Hypersonic Strike capabilities have been identified by the federal government as a critical capability that must be addressed in support of the U.S. National Security Strategy. Hypersonic weapons are unique in that they are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes.
U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) has been a key supporter of hypersonics programs, including in his roles as chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn