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Lockheed Martin Opens Test Center

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Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT - Free Report) formally opened the Huntsville Integrated Test (HIT) Center in Huntsville, Alabama that will help the company to carry out cost-effective and realistic testing of full-scale missile defense systems in a laboratory environment. 

The HIT Center will provide high fidelity, end-to-end testing of missile defense systems with full hardware and digital functionality. The center is equipped with high-speed fiber optic connectivity throughout the building.

The underlying intention is to mitigate risk by running the most appropriate tests. Going forward, this will also likely allow the center to connect with government laboratories and major missile defense suppliers.

This controlled laboratory environment has two five-axis motion simulators with infrared scene generators that will support salvo and multi-tiered intercept scenarios, hardware and software validation, risk reduction and rapid evaluation of evolving threats. The center will also help in analyzing any inconsistency prior to further testing at government test ranges.

This new center is the ninth building in the Lockheed Martin 80-acre campus on Bradford Drive in Research Park. It will be ready for use in May 2011. However, an additional phase, which is planned for completion by the end of 2011, will include a system integration laboratory and a missile integration laboratory.

Lockheed Martin is the largest U.S. defense contractor with a platform-centric focus that guarantees a steady inflow of follow-on orders with a leveraged presence in the Army, Air Force, Navy and IT programs. Also, the company’s focus on debt repayment, an ongoing share repurchase program along with an incremental dividend will continue to shore up shareholder return.  However, we believe that budget deficits and political uncertainty make future defense budgets vulnerable to cutbacks. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that designs and produces ballistic missiles, interceptors, target missiles and reentry systems with unmatched reliability. Lockheed Martin's focus on operational excellence yields affordable high-quality systems and services. It leads the industry in performance and domain expertise in strategic missile and missile defense systems. The company mainly competes with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Free Report) and Raytheon Co. (RTN - Free Report) .

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