Thank you, Uli, for that kind introduction. And thank you, Mr. Willsch and the Aerospace Caucus, for hosting us all this evening.
It’s an honor to join so many distinguished guests, members of the Bundestag, ministry representatives, industry leaders and other friends here tonight.
It’s my pleasure to represent the 126,000 men and women of Lockheed Martin in telling you that we stand with Germany as a committed partner. Lockheed Martin has supported the Bundeswehr and the German aerospace and defense industry for more than 50 years.
And we look forward to strengthening our partnership to meet the challenges of today’s dynamic security environment.
I was in Germany just last weekend for the Munich Security Conference and heard from several prominent European leaders about the evolving threat landscape here.
There is continued concern about Russia’s intentions in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, the rapid rise of ISIS and the threat of terrorist attacks in Western Europe – as we’ve seen in Paris and elsewhere – and, of course, the migrant crisis facing Germany and others in the region.
In fact, just this month, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the U.S. plans to significantly increase its military presence in Europe in response to this rising uncertainty. I have no doubt that Germany will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to address these challenges because this nation has always played a leadership role in the aerospace and defense industries.
With our recent acquisition of Sikorsky, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know Igor Sikorsky’s son, Sergei. He shared a story about how Germany was the place that inspired his father to get into the aircraft business all the way back in 1908.
It was summer, and a nineteen-year-old Igor Sikorsky was vacationing with his father in Bechtesgaden. There he heard reports of Wilbur Wright’s successful flight demonstrations at Le Mans, and he was inspired. That day, Igor told his father that he had decided to devote his life to aviation.
And he pursued that dream when he returned home. Within two years, he was back in Germany to buy an Argus engine for his new aircraft. That engine worked so well, he came back to buy five more, and then 25 more.
Those German engines would go on to power the world’s first successful four-engine aircraft, Sikorsky’s S-21 Grand, which launched in 1913. And the rest is aviation history.
Today, Germany remains a technology leader in Europe, and the world – and allies depend on Germany’s aerospace and defense capability, industry, and technology to meet their security needs. Lockheed Martin stands ready to support you.
Our commitment to the stability and security of Germany and its people is unwavering and steadfast. And we know we are stronger when we work together.
That’s why we continue to be a strong advocate for an integrated transatlantic defense market – one that addresses the mission requirements of NATO members and European partners, and allows for truly integrated coalition operations with allies around the world.
That commitment to partnership and collaboration is reflected in many of the innovative solutions we’ve developed to help our customers solve their most difficult challenges.
As we look to expand our support of Germany and other European partners, I believe there are three areas of opportunity to apply Lockheed Martin innovation to meet the needs of today’s complex missions.
Those opportunities are air power, missile defense, and secure communications – and I’ll touch briefly on all three.
I’ll start with air power, because it’s an area where we’ve already seen our partnership thrive on programs like the P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft. The Orion continues to demonstrate its vital role in detecting threats at sea and on land. We’re honored that Germany continues to invest in this unique capability with its decision to upgrade and modernize its eight P-3C aircraft.
Thanks to our close partnership with Airbus in Manching, we look forward to keeping the German P-3 fleet operating for decades to come.
With Sikorsky as a part of the Lockheed Martin team, we’re well positioned to strengthen our partnership with German industry. German-built CH-53 Sea Stallions have been flying here since 1971. And German Army Aviation Corps units have a proud record of flying these helicopters on a wide range of international missions for NATO and the United Nations.
German Sea Stallions have provided transport for members of the UN Special Commission in Iraq, and served missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Afghanistan. It’s a proven design with an established track record.
As many of you know, the CH-53G was assembled in Speyer, and maintained by Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth. With the new CH-53K King Stallion, we intend to once again work closely with German industry. In fact, the German company MTU is already involved in the engines for the helicopters being built for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The CH-53K is the most advanced heavy lift helicopter ever designed. It would allow the Luftwaffe to provide air mobility on an unprecedented scale. It carries an enormous payload inside and out. And it has the advantage of our logistics and repair capabilities world-wide – meaning better preparedness and responsiveness anywhere the mission calls.
Just as our fixed wing and helicopter portfolio can bring unmatched capability to our allies in Germany, our missile defense technology is second to none. And this is another area where Lockheed Martin can support Germany and the region.
When the German Ministry of Defense announced its selection of our Medium Extended Air Defense System—or MEADS—last June, you established the foundation of Germany’s next-generation air and missile defense system for decades to come.
MEADS is the first network-based air and missile defense system in the world with 360-degree defense capabilities and outstanding mobility. MEADS will enable Germany to fulfill its role as a NATO Framework Nation on Air and Missile Defense. It brings a much needed defense capability and is a key contributor to our transatlantic alliance.
With MEADS’ open architecture, other nations will be able to connect their Air and Missile Defense assets to the infrastructure backbone provided by Germany. Lockheed Martin sees the MEADS-based Integrated Air and Missile defense system, known as the TVLS program, as our signature program here in Germany – and we’re committed to working with our partners at MBDA to make this program an unmitigated success.
I am confident that we will succeed because the MEADS partnership model was a success already. All three partner companies—Lockheed Martin, MBDA Germany and MBDA Italia—have shared complete access to the technology developed in the program. We’ve performed as a team, and we will all succeed as a team.
That teamwork is built on trust and communication, which leads me to the third area of opportunity for Lockheed Martin to support our German partners.
Secure communications is essential to defense collaboration – and the threat of cyber-attacks and compromised communication is more urgent than ever. You only have to look back at the relatively cheap and effective jamming techniques that Russia demonstrated in Ukraine to see why this is a growing concern. The Chinese are experimenting with similar technologies.
And any efforts that impede our ability to coordinate activities and responses with our partners put any strategic advantage we might have at immediate risk.
Lockheed Martin brings unique capability in the area of secure communication, and we can offer Germany the protection needed among strong allies and partners. We offer communications systems that provide the protected connectivity required for the modern battle space, and these become even more effective as more partner nations come online.
For example, our Advanced Extremely High Frequency system delivers vastly improved global survivable and protected communications capabilities for both strategic command and tactical warfighters.
Our Mobile User Objective System is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system. It is designed to significantly improve ground communications for expeditionary forces on the move with simultaneous voice, video and data on an ultra-secure connection.
Air power, missile defense, secure communications – these are just three of the areas where Lockheed Martin is prepared to help Germany meet its evolving mission needs.
As we grow our partnership we hope to offer even more capability, while expanding our collaboration with German industry to deliver even more value to our partners here. Our goal is to build a true partnership with Germany, not simply to win contracts and transact business.
To support that objective, we are growing our presence here. Our Lockheed Martin Germany office is right here, in the south end of this very building. We chose this location in the heart of Berlin so we can remain close to our key customers – and government and industry leaders.
We’ve brought in Uli as our new chief executive, and we’re adding Sikorsky’s long relationship and established presence here. And we will continue to expand in Germany as we pursue new opportunities to support you.
As I said at the beginning, Lockheed Martin has been a trusted partner with Germany for more than half a century. We intend to strengthen that partnership in the next half century and beyond. Working together, we have the innovation, the technology, and the commitment to accomplish great things.
I look forward to talking with you more this evening during the reception about how we can better serve your needs. My team and I stand ready to working with you to build a strong partnership for the future.
Thank you again for being here, and enjoy the rest of the evening.
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