Lockheed Martin is the largest arms manufacturer in the world, created by a 1995 merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta.
Lockheed manufactures military aircraft including the F16 and F35 warplanes, missiles, gunships, radar, weapons control systems, satellites and spacecraft.
Arms to Turkey
Lockheed manufactures the F16s used by Turkey in partnership with Turkish Aerospace Industries. F16s were used in the Roboski massacre in 2011, where 34 people who were engaged in cross border trading were killed by Turkish F16s. The victims were mostly teenagers. Lockheed also supplies Turkey with Hellfire missiles. According to Rick Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, the company has “a long history of partnership with the Republic of Turkey.”
In January 2015 the Turkish military ordered four F35 Lockheed Martin fighter jets, in addition to those it had already ordered. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said. “It is planned that Turkey will buy 100 F35 warplanes in the project. We previously ordered two in this framework. We have now decided to order four more.”
Lockheed states that their $399 billion F35 project is the “world’s most expensive weapons programme.”
Turkish arms companies, which are manufacturing components for the F-35, are also making billions from the contract.
In September 2015, Lockheed announced that it was producing and supplying Turkey with a “next-generation, air-to-surface standoff cruise missile for the F35 fighter jet,” partnering with Turkish arms company Roketsan. The deal was done at the DSEI arms fair in London. The companies stated that they would provide “live flight testing on Turkish F-16s.”
Meanwhile, Turkish warplanes are continuing their ongoing attacks on Kurdish villages in the Qandil region of Iraqi Kurdistan, where the PKK has its main bases. Arms industry website Janes stated that on March 14 2016 “ nine Lockheed Martin F16 Fighting Falcons and two McDonald Douglas F-4 2020 Phantom aircraft were involved in the strikes against the PKK’s main headquarters area in the Qandil Mountains.”
In reality, the fighter jets, accompanied by drones, destroyed Kurdish villagers’ houses during the bombardments.
Lockheed Martin and the Turkish government’s cozy relationship continues, and on the March 15 2016, the two were in talks, discussing the possibility of the arms company providing Turkey with an “urgent” Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS).
Eyewitnesses state that Turkey used F-16s to attack YPG and YPJ forces defending Afrin during the 2018 invasion.
Many activists have demonstrated and taken action outside Lockheed Martin’s London offices over the years. In March 2016 in London, activist Zelda Jeffers was found guilty of criminal damage for demonstrating at Lockheed Martin’s offices. Zelda drew attention to the words of Lockheed Martin’s Executive Vice President, Bruce Tanner, who had boasted about Lockheed’s “indirect benefits” from the violence in Syria.
- Demonstrate outside Lockheed Martin’s offices in the UK.
- Pressure the UK government not to license the export of arms from Turkey to the UK.
- Protest Lockheed Martin’s involvement in London’s biannual DSEI arms fair, to be held in September 2019 in London’s Docklands.
Basic company information
International presence: Global, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland (US)
Business area: Arms manufacturing
Traded on: New York Stock Exchange
Global sales: $41 billion (2016)
Revenue: US$51.048 billion (2017)
Net income: US$2.002 billion (2017)
Number of employees: 100,000 (2017)
People: Marilyn Hewson (Chairman, President, CEO), Bruce Tanner (Vice President & CFO)
Sandia Corporation, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Joint ventures with Turkish companies: Roketsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries
Addresses in the UK:
Lockheed Martin UK
15 Lower Regent Street
Lockheed Martin also has premises in Havant, Gloucester, Lyneham, Glasgow, Reading and Bedfordshire. See here for a full list.
Participation in arms fairs: Regular participant at DSEI (London, UK), Eurosatory (Paris, France), Farnborough Airshow (UK), Singapore Airshow (Singapore), DPRTE (Birmingham, UK), IDEF (Istanbul, Turkey). For a full list click here.