Lockheed Martin marks major milestones in missile defense

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In Lockheed Martin’s 100-plus year history, the tenth of June has proven to be an auspicious day. On June 10, 1984, the company saw the first successful hit-to-kill intercept of the Army’s Homing Overlay Experiment (HOE). On that day, a missile was launched over the Pacific from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Twenty minutes later, the HOE vehicle was launched. It successfully intercepted the missile and destroyed it by impact alone. Prior to HOE, warheads were the only option for destroying missiles.

On June 10, 1999, Lockheed Martin had another cause to celebrate. That date marks the first successful intercept of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system in White Sands, New Mexico. The system is still in use today. Jon Sharpe, Director of Huntsville and Weapons System Integration at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, says it was deployed to Guam in 2013.

On Tuesday, Sharpe celebrated the anniversaries with a small gathering at the Huntsville campus. The group included employees with more than 30 years experience as well as the company’s summer interns. Sharpe lauded the long-term workers for their experience and achievements while encouraging the younger set to lead the way in developing Lockheed Martin’s next generation of defense systems.