This page is temporarily not available. Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-767-3771 ext. 9339.
Lockheed Martin Corporation’s (LMT - Analyst Report) F-22 fighter jet flying limit between landing zones was limited by a recent order to the U.S. Air Force by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The curb on flying limit came on the heels of undiagnosed safety problem for the fighter jet. The limit on flight distances means the routine mission of patrolling U.S. airspace in Alaska will be done by other aircraft.
The new restriction however does not affect the war effort in Afghanistan because no F-22s are deployed there. The fighter has never flown in combat with the only F-22s operating overseas are in the United Arab Emirates, where they recently arrived for training missions.
The Panetta order is an unusual intervention at the highest level of the Pentagon in a service-specific problem, and it may be seen by some — including critics of the F-22 program on Capitol Hill — as a sign of the program's political vulnerability. However, the move was necessary with media reports surfacing about an increasing trend of pilots refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 fighter citing oxygen-deficit problems in the cockpit. Pilots have complained about oxygen-deficit problems causing dizziness, blackouts and other symptoms that arise when the body doesn't receive enough oxygen. The Air Force has been unable to determine the root cause of the problem. To solve the problem Panetta ordered an acceleration of an existing Air Force effort to install an automatic backup oxygen system in every F-22 fighter jet.
The F-22 is a single-seat, twin-engine, fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Its program partner, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, a segment of The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report), provides wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
Earlier in 2011, the Air Force had temporarily stopped the work of its entire fleet of F-22 for more than four months due to problems with regard to its oxygen-supply system. However, in September 2011, it returned its F-22 back to flight.
Lockheed Martin is a major U.S. defense contractor with a platform-centric focus. This guarantees a steady inflow of follow-on orders. The company benefits from a leveraged presence in the U.S. Army, Air Force and the Navy.
Going forward we expect Lockheed Martin to benefit from its focus on platform programs, such as the C-130 Hercules & C-5 Galaxy transport aircrafts, F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role jet, the Littoral Combat Ship, the AEHF and the Global Positioning Satellite III system, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
But we are skeptical about the limited military ammunition orders, primarily for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, due to proposed U.S. defense budget cutbacks. Lockheed Martin Corporation retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.
Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and maintenance of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company competes with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Analyst Report).