CRYSTAL CITY, Va: As the Defense Department continues to pressure companies to share the load in this time of shrinking budgets, Lockheed CEO Marilyn Hewson told reporters today her company will boost internal research and development spending 5 percent from its current level of $700 million.
“We continue to invest in our porfolio because we think it’s critical,” said Hewson at the company’s media spectacular (wink) here before the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough International Air Show. She noted the company boosted IRAD spending by 13 percent last year. Hewson made her remarks in answer to a reporter’s question.
In the only other real news from her comments this morning, Hewson — who will attend both RIAT and Farnborough this year with the first foreign flight of the F-35B at those venues — offered strong praise for the major international air shows — Farnborough, Paris, Singapore etc. — saying they were “more efficient ways” to address large numbers of foreign delegations in one place and at one time. Her predecessor has eschewed air show attendance for the last few years and deeply reduced the company’s presence at the shows in a PR bid to show shareholders that the company was saving money.
Otherwise, Hewson made the usual comments about sequestration being bad public policy and said the company would continue to make strategic acquisitions.