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This article was Originally Published on May 01, 2002 in Volume: 1  Issue: 2

Lockheed Martin

Interview with Dan M. Hancock


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Dain M. Hancock is the chief executive responsible for all Lockheed Martin military aircraft business activities. He was named Lockheed Martin corporate executive vice president and president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in November 1999. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, with major aerospace engineering and manufacturing operations at sites in Fort Worth, Marietta, GA, and Palmdale, CA. It supports the critical defense needs of the United States with advanced military aircraft products that include the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter), F-22 (Raptor), F-16 (Fighting Falcon), F-117, C-130J and U-2.

Hancock previously held the position of president of Lockheed Martin's Tactical Aircraft Systems, having been appointed to this position in March 1995. He became a corporate vice president of the former Lockheed Corp. in March 1993 when Lockheed acquired General Dynamics' military aircraft business. At that time he continued to also serve as vice president of F-16 programs, having been appointed to this position by General Dynamics in August 1989.

Q: When Lockheed Martin announced the consolidation of its three former military aircraft companies into a single aeronautics company in early 2000, you said a principal goal was to improve value to your customers-the U.S. and international armed forces. How successful have you been?

A: The quest for improved customer value must be a continuous effort. I believe we have come a long way in learning to operate as a unified team with a better focus on meeting the needs and requirements of our customers. In terms of reducing costs, we beat our objective of $175 million in annual savings, both in 2000 and 2001. Our emphasis today is on performance in our programs.

Q: Lockheed Martin is working on three future fighter aircraft, with the F-22, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and advanced versions of the F-16. Is there overlap in these efforts, or ways that they complement one another?

A: The F-22, F-35 and upgraded F-16 each have specific missions in the armed forces of today and the future. The F-22 is the new air dominance fighter to replace the F-15 in U.S. Air Force service, while the F-35 is being developed to replace the F-16, F/A-18C and D, Harrier and several other aircraft. We are continuously upgrading the F-16 to keep it viable until the F-35 is available in sufficient numbers, and to meet the requirements of international air forces that will fly F-16s until at least 2025. The three aircraft will complement one another in service, while sharing a significant number of technologies and innovations in their development and manufacturing.

Q: Funding for the F-22 was seriously challenged in Congress two years ago, and lately there has been renewed criticism, with suggestions to reduce the number of aircraft being purchased. Does this pose a threat to the stability of the program?

A: There is a crucial need to field the F-22 to ensure air dominance for our forces as new threats emerge. We must keep the program fully funded and on track, to avoid unnecessary cost increases and disruptions. The U.S. Air Force remains strongly committed to buying at least 339 Raptors, and the F-22 is performing spectacularly in its flight test program. We are on track to have aircraft in place when they are needed for tactics training at Nellis AFB, NV.

Q: What is Lockheed Martin doing in the area of uninhabited air combat vehicles (UCAVs) and UAVs?

A: We recognize the emerging potential of both UAVs and UCAVs and are actively developing operational concepts and enabling technologies applicable to future systems. We have developed specific technical capabilities and have experience that can be applied directly to these concepts, including survivability, low observables, information operations and others. These systems are a focus of efforts in our Advanced Development Programs organization, or "Skunk Works."

Q: The U.S. Air Force is considering a multi-year procurement of C-130J aircraft. How important is this plan to the future of the C-130J as a viable product for your company?

A: The multiyear proposal to procure 40 C-130Js for the Air Force over five fiscal years would bring important stability to the "J" line, setting the stage for further manufacturing savings. In addition, the U.S. Marine Corps is considering joining the multiyear contract, expanding the production base with procurement of 20 KC-130J models. This offer provides outstanding value to the military services.

Q: Do you expect continued expansion of the JSF program with other countries?

A: We are encouraged that a growing number of countries are examining the benefit of joining the F-35 program during the System Development and Demonstration phase, which so far includes the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. We believe the F-35 is the best answer for countries whose forces will require an affordable, survivable and highly capable fifth-generation fighter, with high interoperability with U.S. assets. 

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