Lockheed Martin: Suffolk’s catalyst for technological growth

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2005

The face of Suffolk’s high-tech future is being unveiled next month.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $35 million Center for Innovation Communications is opening in Harbour View with an April 11 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Gov. Mark Warner, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., are among the who’s who of political and military dignitaries expected to attend.

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Lockheed has been working from its unique 50,000-square-foot hexagon-shaped building for the past couple of weeks, said David Lovato, spokesman at the facility.

&uot;Although everything was up and running, we wanted to exercise things a little before we had our grand opening,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re going to pause work for that event.&uot;

The facility is a state-of-the-art laboratory for research and development to meet the warfighter’s ever-changing needs, said Richard C. &uot;Buck&uot; Marr, the center’s vice president.

The military of the future marries a powerful military force with information superiority. Lockheed’s focus on net-centric warfare–the use of technology and networking over the Internet to build a leaner, more lethal military-will be vital to accomplishing that goal, Levato said.

&uot;The military and national security leaders have declared it is their intention to transform the way the military works,&uot; said Lovato.

&uot;We are all about the innovation that supports the transformation.&uot;

Lockheed, by partnering with government and industry, taps a huge well of talent from colleges, universities and within the corporation, he added.

The presence of Lockheed-the nation’s largest national defense contractor-in Suffolk is a precursor of good things to come, Lovato said.

&uot;I think what we have here is an indication of what the future is going to look like for Suffolk and for Virginia,&uot; said Lovato. &uot;There is a lot of discussion about the impact of the high-tech corridor that seems to be emerging in north Suffolk.

&uot;There is a lot going on in the industry as a whole…and it is changing the nature of where we live.&uot;

Mayor Bobby L. Ralph believes Lockheed’s investment in Suffolk is generating interest from other modeling and simulation companies.

&uot;Lockheed is an anchor in Suffolk, which is causing other companies to take a hard look at us,&uot; he said.

&uot;We are postured to accommodate the new level of interest in the city.&uot;