Lockheed Sees Strong Cyber Demand Despite NSA Scandal: CEO

By Reuters
December 17, 2013
Credit: MC1 Corey Lewis/U.S. Navy

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier and top provider of information technology to the U.S. government, said on Monday there is continued demand for cybersecurity services, despite the National Security Agency spying scandal.

Lockheed Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson told Reuters in an interview on Monday that concerns about alleged spying by the NSA were not slowing the company’s aggressive push to market its information technology and cybersecurity services overseas.

“It hasn’t been a negative effect on our business,” Hewson said. “We continue to have strong demand for our cyber capabilities from the U.S. government and other governments around the world, and we also have a business where we support commercial companies.”

Lockheed, the largest contractor for the NSA, and other government contractors have sought to expand their expertise in protecting government networks into service contracts with private companies, thus far with mixed success.

But those capabilities are drawing increased interest from foreign governments, including many in the Middle East, according to Hewson, who is due to visit the region again this month, her fourth visit since she became CEO in January.

Lockheed is expanding its presence in seven countries it has identified as central to its overseas expansion: Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Hewson said the company’s biggest growth drivers were its stealthy F-35 fighter jet, air and missile defense systems, and its C-130J transport aircraft, but the company’s satellite technology and its government IT services were also growing.

Pat Dewar, who heads a new international unit, Lockheed Martin International, created in July, told Reuters last month that Lockheed’s fighter jets and other military equipment were well known overseas, but the company still had work to do demonstrating its role as a key IT provider.

Hewson told Reuters she expected continued growth in the company’s government and commercial cyber businesses in coming years, given mounting concern about attacks on computer networks around the world.

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