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Lockheed Martin to base hypersonics program in Alabama

COURTLAND, Ala. (AP) — Lockheed Martin says it will base its hypersonics weapons program in north Alabama, where about 275 new jobs will be added over the next three years.

The company held a ceremony Monday in Courtland, where two new buildings will be constructed to serve as a manufacturing and management home for work focusing on super high-speed weapons.

A statement from the Maryland-based Lockheed Martin says 72 new jobs will be located in Courtland, and 200 positions will be added in Huntsville. Additional growth is expected.

Lockheed Martin already employs about 2,000 people in Alabama, many of them in the high-tech industries near Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Hypersonic weapons are generally defined as those that travel more than five times the speed of sound.

“Hypersonic weapons are a critical priority as we continue to innovate and improve our nation’s defense,” said Senator Richard Shelby, who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the Senate.

“The decision by the Army to select Dynetics, located right here in Alabama, and Lockheed Martin’s Courtland facility to advance this important national security initiative is a testament to the complex defense work taking place in our state. These contracts allow us to leverage commercial technology to field needed weapons to our soldiers in just a few years. This is incredible news, not only for Alabama, but also for the entire nation and the modernization of our armed forces.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt, who serves on Defense Appropriations in the House, said U.S. adversaries should be “terrified” of our missile capabilities.

“The U.S. military seeks to be excellent in all things. Some of our adversaries seek to be excellent in one or two things.  Our presence here today is important because it shows that in our own military work, we are moving out from the research and pioneering work of the AHW to a broadly applied, offensive-weapon capability,” Aderholt said.

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