HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A new milestone for Lockheed Martin. The aerospace company officially broke ground on its Missile System Integration Lab Monday morning.

The facility is a $16.5 million corporate investment and adds a 25,000-square-foot lab to Lockheed Martin’s Huntsville campus in Research Park.

The company planted its roots in Alabama nearly 60 years ago and currently employs more than 2,700 people across its 25 facilities. In 2022, the workforce is expected to grow by over 200 employees at the company’s Huntsville and Courtland sites.

“This program was born digital and so we’re able to really foster more innovation and get to a more collaborative environment for our customers to experience as well,” said Sarah Reeves, Vice President/Program Manager at Next Generation Interceptor. 

The new lab will help the company’s Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program which is designed to one day protect the U.S. from ballistic missiles.

During the announcement, Gov. Kay Ivey and Sen. Tommy Tuberville shared what this expansion means for the state.

“Today’s groundbreaking at Lockheed Martin – a new missile system integration lab – represents an investment of more than $16.5 million and it’s creating even more opportunities for Alabama,” stated Gov. Ivey.

A rendering of the new building

“You already have a large footprint, but now you’re doubling down on North Alabama. I want to say something about Huntsville. There’s not a day that goes by that a senator or congressman asks me to bring them to Huntsville. That’s how popular this place is!” exclaimed Sen. Tuberville.