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United Kingdom News

Rising to the challenge: COVID-19
How Lockheed Martin UK is meeting customers’ needs and supporting the UK and its allies.

Like many businesses around the world, Lockheed Martin has been working hard to support the global response to COVID-19 and adapt its business model to respond to the collective challenges we face.

The health and safety of our employees has remained paramount as we continue to deliver vital defence outputs and national security capabilities – recognising that our customers have faced new, complex challenges which require innovative solutions and teamwork.

Globally, Lockheed Martin Corporation has donated more than USD$11 million for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. Contributions have supported hospitals, healthcare workers, food banks, distance learning for students, expanded virtual internship programmes and mental wellbeing tools, to name a few. 

The company has also accelerated payments to suppliers - including some in our UK supply chain, three quarters of which are SMEs – and continues to work with suppliers on business continuity plans to mitigate any potential impact to its customers.

Continuing to deliver in the UK

Lockheed Martin UK has worked closely with the UK Ministry of Defence to identify critical programmes and projects to support national security and resilience and continues to deliver them in line with government guidelines.

In a letter to defence suppliers on March 27, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, advised: “It is vital that critical Defence operations and programmes, on which our nation relies, continue uninterrupted.”

Despite 75 per cent of the company’s 1,700 employees working from home, customer commitments continue to be met. Where employees must travel to work, measures have been put in place to ensure their personal safety, in line with the government’s guidance on workplace operations including social distancing and hygiene.

Lockheed Martin UK CEO Peter Ruddock said: “At Lockheed Martin we are not only focused on meeting our customers’ needs but also on using our company’s strength and resources to support the UK and its allies in other ways during this time of crisis.”

Employees with specialist skills in areas such as logistics have been supporting the national need for increased deliveries of medical supplies to hospitals and care homes across the country and we have repurposed some of our manufacturing capabilities to provide critical supplies for healthcare workers.”

“We have reached out to support small and medium sized businesses in the UK supply chain and are working to direct and leverage our charitable giving so Lockheed Martin UK and its 1,700 employees can help those affected by the contagion as well as those working to identify a medical solution for the virus.”

“The company continues to use best practices mitigate risks and protect the health and well-being of its employees and business partners while ensuring we adapt our facilities and introduce new working practices, as necessary”

An example of onsite production continuing is the ongoing manufacture of turrets at the company’s site in Ampthill, Bedfordshire for the British Army’s Warrior and AJAX armoured vehicles.

The manufacturing process is carried out digitally, with the use of iPads meaning the production line can be monitored virtually away from the shop floor.

Following a health and safety assessment, and in-line with a rigorous safety plan, trials of Warrior, currently undergoing a major upgrade, restarted in May at Bovington Camp, Dorset, on a phased basis.

The Joint Asset Management and Engineering Solution (JAMES) is a key logistics solution for the UK Armed Forces that is being managed remotely, and is currently helping the British Army deliver PPE to NHS locations up and down the country.

Paul Henderson, JAMES Deputy Programme Manager, said: “Almost immediately JAMES was deemed a critical programme by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to enable the MoD and the Armed Forces to maintain asset management capability during COVID-19. With all Lockheed Martin staff working from home during this time, I am delighted to say that the programme has been able to maintain the capability to Armed Forces personnel in the UK and on operations around the world.”  

Lockheed Martin aircraft answering the call to action

Aircraft produced and sustained by Lockheed Martin have been upping the tempo of operations around the world to support COVID-19 response efforts. Airlifters including the C-130J Hercules and C-5 Galaxy, the highly adaptable and flexible Black Hawk Helicopter and even the venerable Lockheed Electra are playing critical roles delivering medical crews and supplies where the needs are greatest.

In the UK, this includes the Royal Navy’s fleet of Merlin helicopters which have been providing 24/7 assistance to the NHS across the South West from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose. Lockheed Martin UK has been the prime contractor and systems integrator for the Merlin Mk1 and Mk2 since 1991 and also provides integrated operational support and training for the aircraft.

Supporting the community

Lockheed Martin UK has donated funds to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal to help those most affected by the outbreak. The company is also contributing towards a new national testing centre at Alderley Park, Cheshire - recognising the important role of testing in managing and containing the virus.

A number of Cambridge-based scientific groups researching the virus and potential solutions, including vaccines, have received investments from its global venture capital fund Lockheed Martin Ventures via a partner fund.

The UK Armed Forces are playing an important role supporting the Government in responding to COVID-19. Lockheed Martin, a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, has a strong tradition of employing ex-military staff and a number of our military reservists remain on standby to support.

Special Constable Daniel Cook, a Lockheed Martin graduate systems engineer, is one of many employees continuing to volunteer during this time – he checks in on vulnerable community members and patrols the streets.

PPE for frontline workers

Two Lockheed Martin sites – Ampthill in Bedfordshire and RAF Valley in Wales – are using their 3D printing capability to manufacture face shield parts for frontline workers in health and social care.

Employees are also taking on the PPE manufacturing challenge. One of them is Ampthill Programme Manager Darren Worth, who bought a CNC machine within a few days of lockdown being implemented. He’s since added two 3D printers to his collection.

Darren has been able to produce more than 300 face shield parts for frontline workers alongside the day job.

 “It’s been a steep learning curve,”, says Darren, “but the outcome is so rewarding. With my wife working at a hospital and facing the challenge head on, her and her colleagues were so grateful for my efforts in helping to keep them better protected.”

Teams across the UK have also donated PPE equipment for local health and social care including disposable gloves, hand sanitiser wipes and acetate for PPE manufacture. 

Thank you
 

Lockheed Martin recognises the incredible commitment of frontline healthcare workers and carers in supporting those affected by COVID-19 and saving lives, as well as first responders and all others involved in responding to this pandemic.

The company is committed to doing everything it can to support national and regional responses as well as maintaining national resilience and providing for national defence and security needs.

More information on Lockheed Martin's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here