ISIS Causes Demand For Hellfire Missiles To Skyrocket, Lockheed Martin Quadruples Production Of Laser-Guided Missiles

Lockheed Martin is ramping up production in response to increased demands of war products which will be used in the fight against the Islamic State. The company announced they have quadrupled the manufacture of Paveway II laser guided missiles, as well as increased production of the Hellfire missile. The surge in production comes as Lockheed Martin supplies weaponry for the United States, NATO, and Middle East allies in the fight against ISIS.

The Daily Mail reports that Lockheed Martin has announced that they are quadrupling production of the Paveway II laser guided missile. The company, which makes the well-known Hellfire missile, says that demands are so great that they are opening new factories to keep up with needed production levels. The war technology company notes that demand for their products are expected to continue to increase for at least a few years as the war against ISIS continues to rage in the Middle East.

According to Defense One, Lockheed Martin is in for the long haul in regards to equipping the United States, NATO, and their Middle Eastern allies with weapons. The publication points out that Lockheed is focusing on expanded production as they do not see an end to the conflicts with the Islamic State ending anytime soon. In fact, Frank St. John, Lockheed’s vice president of tactical missiles, believes that nothing will change for years, so Lockheed is willing to put down the financial capital needed to add new factories.

“We are seeing a lot of international demand for our product set. That’s causing us to do a lot of work in international partnerships and co-production and we’re very excited about those opportunities. It requires a little bit of investment on our part to expand the factories, but the demand is there and we’re keeping up with it [and] we’re staying ahead of it.”

The company is noticing an increase in a variety of missile products but particularly in regards to their signature Hellfire missile, which is mounted on Predator and Reaper drones. Additionally, laser guided missiles such as the Paveway II are increasing significantly with production quadrupling.

Lockheed Martin is increasing their self-funded production just shortly after the U.S. Pentagon gave the company $18 million to expand Hellfire missile production from 500 to 650 missiles. According to the Pentagon, the United States has dropped 39,715 bombs on ISIS targets in a period less than two years. The total cost of these bombs exceeds $1.5 billion. With Lockheed Martin supplying much of the country’s weaponry, it is no wonder the war technology company is expanding.

However, it isn’t just the United States seeking weapons from Lockheed, a number of NATO allies are also seeking munitions from the supplier. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan have all reportedly struck ISIS targets and are looking for new munitions to use in the battle against the Islamic State.

What do you think about Lockheed Martin expanding their factories in response to countries seeking weapons to strike ISIS targets? Do you agree with the Lockheed Martin VP that the war against the Islamic State will continue for years?

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]