Lockheed Martin gets surge in missile-defense requests amid North Korea crisis

Worldwide demand for missile-defense systems is surging, and the North Korea crisis may be a factor, Pentagon contractor Lockheed Martin told Reuters on Tuesday.
By Paul Pate | Aug 11, 2017
Worldwide demand for missile-defense systems is surging, and the North Korea crisis may be a factor, Pentagon contractor Lockheed Martin told Reuters on Tuesday. Tim Cahill, vice-president of Lockheed's Air and Missile Defense business, said that the company has received a fast rise in requests for missile defense in the last 12 to 18 months as North Korea's missile tests progressed and tensions between North Korea and the United States grew.
"The level of dialogue around missile defense is now at the prime minister and minister of defense level," Cahill said, adding that acquiring missile defense systems is at the top of some countries' to-do list.
Lockheed Martin's shares rose nearly 8%, reaching $300.10, since North Korea's long-range missile tests on July 4. The stock is up 20% from where it stood at this point last year.
North Korea's missile tests drew condemnations not only from the United States, but from Japan and South Korea, as well. Japan's prime minister met with Trump and U.S. officials after the July 4 missile launches to discuss options going forward.

Lockheed Martin officials said that they are trying to grow their international customer base, which accounted for around 27% of the company's revenue in 2016. The U.S. government was the source of 70% of revenues that year. Countries that fear either being hit by North Korean missiles or being caught in the crossfire of U.S.-North Korean missile strikes and counter-strikes could be a source for growth, they suggested.

Missile-defense technology sales to international buyers may take time to complete, however. The U.S. government strictly regulates sales of weapons systems to foreign buyers and may require the company to go through legislative approvals processes that sometimes take years to complete.

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