US prime Lockheed Martin announced its Q3 financial results on 17 October 2023.

The leading defence contractor outlined that its results are “at or above our expectations across the board, generating $2.5bn of free cash flow, with nearly 100% returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases,” according to Lockheed Martin’s chairman, president and CEO Jim Taiclet.

In addition, the company revealed that it has increased net sales of $16.9bn, compared with $16.6bn in Q3 2022, while cash from operations was $2.9bn in Q3 2023, compared with $3.1bn in Q3 2022. However, net earnings in Q3 2023 were $1.7bn, or $6.73 per share, compared with $1.8bn, or $6.71 per share, in Q3 2022.

Taiclet added that “Our 21st Century Security strategy is resulting in new business successes, including the award of the transformational AIR6500 integrated air and missile defense programme by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which will serve as a blueprint for future joint all-domain operations worldwide.”

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By GlobalData

AIR6500 is a joint ‘system of systems’ that will enhance ADF operations. Connecting disparate ADF systems and platforms across all domains establishes a cohesive 21st century environment. Synchronising missile defence operations improves situational awareness and enhances the speed of decision-making.

Lockheed’s AIR6500 programme brings integrated missile systems as a critical disruptor, which GlobalData’s filings intelligence tells us is a principal theme in the defence and aerospace industry this year; particularly as the geopolitical environment has prompted a mobilisation of modernised systems and integration.

With integration comes autonomous processing to speed up the end user’s response time to threats. GlobalData informs us that Lockheed Martin has mentioned artificial intelligence (AI) four times in 2023 as it looks to enhance this area of the joint force.

Furthermore, space systems have been another area that Lockheed Martin has enhanced for the joint force; the theme has been mentioned seven times this year alone.

Space serves as a hub for all domains to utilise intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, often through AI processing.

Recently, the US Space Development Agency – the body responsible for the US Department of Defense’s acquisition of space-based capabilities for an integrated joint force – has recently launched ten satellites built by Lockheed Martin into low earth orbit for its Tranche 0 Transport Layer mission.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Disruptor data, which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors. These signals help us to uncover key innovation areas in the sector and the themes that drive them. They tell us about the topics on the minds of business leaders and investors, and indicate where leading companies are focusing their investment, deal-making and R&D efforts.