Lockheed Martin Opening Cybersecurity Office for DoD in San Antonio

San Antonio—Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. government contractor, is announcing today it is moving into a 15,400-square foot cybersecurity facility at Port San Antonio in hopes of landing a large contract with the Department of Defense.

The move by Lockheed (NYSE: LMT) is part of its effort to get its hands on a contract worth as much as $30 million to build cybersecurity infrastructure for the Defense department that would allow its various cybersecurity-focused departments—from the U.S. Army Cyber Command near the nation’s capital to the 24th and 25th Air Force units in San Antonio—to more easily and securely share things like data and intelligence, according to David Hathaway, Lockheed’s local business development lead. Lockheed likely wouldn’t get the full $30 million right away if it won the contract, and the company plans to initially hire 30 to 40 people initially, Hathaway said.

The number of cybersecurity professionals Lockheed hires could expand to more than 100 over the next five years, as Lockheed continues to work on this project and seek other potential contracts, Hathaway said. The Air Force is leading the search for the platform, which is being called a “unified platform,” and millions more are may be available in the next couple of defense budgets, according to DefenseNews. The Air Force requested $29.8 million for the government’s 2019 fiscal year, according to the website.

“The idea is to bring together legacy capabilities that all the services have, and make them so they can work together and collaborate together,” Hathaway said in a phone interview, adding that Lockheed believes several other contractors will bid. “We are trying to lean forward to make sure that we have the facilities ready if we are in a position to win.”

The prototype that Lockheed is currently developing, which it calls Henosis, will allow the government to share data at multiple levels of classification, he said. Lockheed has already been working closely with multiple areas of the defense department to try to build the right product, Hathaway said.

While Lockheed does do some work for the private sector, whether it would ever bring software that it developed for the government to the commercial clients depends on the situation, Hathaway said. “There are many times that we develop things specific to the government and the government owns rights to it. It varies,” he said.

The company currently has about 15 people who work in San Antonio, who primarily work out of its customers’ facilities, which include the National Security Agency and the 24th Air Force, a division of the U.S. Cyber Command that manages cybersecurity issues for the Air Force.

Though it doesn’t have existing facilities, Lockheed did historically have a presence in San Antonio at Port San Antonio, a 1,900-acre property with industrial facilities and office space. The government contractor announced last year it was transitioning a maintenance facility that serviced a type of airplane engine to Arizona-based Standard Aero, limiting that presence.

The addition of Lockheed is part of a plan by Port San Antonio to develop a 90,000-square-foot technology building intended for cybersecurity and other advanced technology companies. Lockheed is the first customer for the port’s planned development, which is known as Project Tech. Port San Antonio was established as a public entity to attract new businesses and jobs by redeveloping an old Air Force base near the 24th Air Force.

The idea is to tap companies’ interest in working with the government, including businesses that don’t traditionally contract with military units like the 24th Air Force, as Xconomy reported last year. The port is also developing a “cyber proving ground,” which will let the Air Force and other agencies test out cybersecurity technologies from companies and academics that don’t necessarily have the security clearance of repeat contractors.

In 2017, the U.S. government obliged about $50.7 billion in government contracts to Lockheed, according to the General Services Administration. The company’s rotary and mission systems division, which includes its cybersecurity work with the government, generated net sales of $14.2 billion last year, according to a securities filing.

Lockheed is investing more in its cybersecurity division as more threats to the U.S. continue coming in, Hathaway said. The bid for the Defense department’s “unified platform” cybersecurity project for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins in October, is currently ongoing, he said. Lockheed put $3 million into a five-year lease at Port San Antonio, as well as internal research and development dollars for its work on the cybersecurity product, the company says.

“Within cybersolutions, we are doubling down our engagement with DoD,” Hathaway said. “Many of the U.S.’s adversaries are investing heavily in cyber as an offset to the technological disadvantage in the kinetic realm.”

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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