Lockheed Martin Corp.

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Lockheed Martin Corp. is the nation's largest defense contractor. Lockheed Martin employs nearly 11,000 employees, more than half of them (6,500) in metro Orlando, where it is Central Florida's largest industrial employer.

Lockheed Martin produces some of the most sophisticated military hardware in the world at its Orlando operations, which include the following (in order of size): Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control; Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support; and Lockheed Martin Enterprise Information Systems. The missiles unit is known worldwide for its production of guided missiles, weapons targeting and aircraft night-vision navigation systems. The simulation division is a global player in high-tech training systems for air and ground combat forces and commanders. The enterprise unit is Lockheed's computer tech services operation for the entire corporation.

Nationwide, the Bethesda, Md.-based company is known for producing military aircraft, missiles, rockets, advanced electronics, satellites and NASA systems (including production of the space shuttle's external fuel tank). Lockheed posted more than $2.5 billion in profit on sales of nearly $40 billion in 2006. It has 140,000 employees worldwide, including New York, Texas, Florida, California and other major states.

Lockheed Martin formed in 1995 from the merger of Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp., during an era of dramatic consolidation in the defense industry after the end of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union. Prior to the Lockheed Martin merger, Lockheed was based in Calabasas, CA., and Martin was based in Bethesda. Martin Marietta's predecessor --The Glenn Martin Co.-- opened a missiles factory in Orlando in 1957, creating 2,700 jobs in what was then just a citrus town.