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"Inside Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin's super-secret weapons facility" by Lee Hudson
Byron Callan quoted in Lee Hudson's Politico article, ""Inside Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin's super-secret weapons facility."
The article reads:
For just a few hours last month, Lockheed invited a select group of reporters to tour the massive facility, lifting the veil behind its magic workshop for the first time in eight years. Skunk Works produced the U-2 spy plane that could — and still does — collect images from 70,000 feet; the SR-71 Blackbird, an aircraft that could fly at speeds greater than Mach 3; and the F-117 Nighthawk, the first stealth fighter.
For defense tech journalists and aviation nerds, this is the equivalent of a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory, but think supersonic drones instead of Everlasting Gobstoppers.
Officially — wink-wink — the reason for the visit was a ribbon-cutting for a new state-of-the-art factory on the 539-acre campus. But unofficially, Lockheed Martin is in the same boat as other contractors: trying to kick up support for more Pentagon business amid flat defense budgets.
Byron Callan, managing director at Capital Alpha Partners, said Lockheed has plenty of reasons to show off its facilities. For example, Skunk Works is investing big in digital engineering, and wants to one-up competitors Boeing and Northrop Grumman, all of which are jockeying for a role in the Air Force's next fighter jet program, known as Next Generation Air Dominance.
“So many of these things are being done in classified program settings,” he said. “It's probably really just a way to say, ‘Hey, we're competitive, we've made investments in some of these areas.’”