Lockheed Martin, under the banner of its Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) program, has collaborated with three small businesses to foster growth within the defense industrial sector. This initiative is part of the Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protege Program that facilitates prime contractors to function as mentors, enhancing the business and technical acumen of small businesses.
Through the Mentor-Protege Program, the Missile Defense Agency has granted Lockheed Martin three contracts of up to two years. These contracts will involve partnerships with Marotta Controls, Space Information Labs (SIL), and Valley Tech Systems (VTS) in an effort to nurture the development of advanced engineering and technology, including model-based engineering and digital thread. Participation in the program offers these companies an understanding of business expansion strategies.
Sarah Reeves, Vice President of NGI at Lockheed Martin, said, “The Mentor-Protege Program allows us to reduce barriers for small businesses; when small business wins, we all win. Lockheed Martin believes in the strength of this program, so we are mentoring three different companies and supporting them throughout our NGI development.”
Marotta Controls, based in Montville, NJ, is a family-run small business specializing in sub-systems for the aerospace and defense sectors. CEO Patrick Marotta noted, “Marotta Controls is privileged to join Lockheed Martin’s Mentor-Protege Program… We look forward to our continued growth as an agile partner delivering on our mission to support the warfighter and our nation’s defense.”
SIL, a woman-owned small business based in Santa Maria, CA, designs, manufactures, and environmentally qualified Li-Ion Intelli-Pack Batteries, AFTU, and Space Based Range flight units for various aerospace platforms. Edmund Burke, SIL President, and Founder, said, “SIL is honored to be selected by Lockheed Martin through the Mentor-Protege Program to increase our capacity to produce and deliver various critical technologies for national security programs.”
A small business in aerospace propulsion, VTS operates in Folsom, CA, and Reno, NV under Voyager Space. Phil Csik, VTS Program Manager, expressed, “Valley Tech Systems is excited to be selected by Lockheed Martin as a protege under the DoD Mentor-Protege Program… enabling VTS to accelerate the application of our advanced controllable solid propulsion technology to enhance homeland defense and protect our warfighters.”
Lockheed Martin is already working with these businesses as subcontractors to develop, refine, and implement hardware in support of the NGI program. This support stems from advanced technologies generated through the DOD’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.
The NGI is destined to be a part of the ongoing Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Weapon System, designed to safeguard the U.S. from intercontinental ballistic missile threats posed by rogue nations. The NGI program at Lockheed Martin has congregated a strategic, flexible, and innovative team, including small businesses, to supply MDA with this vital national security facility.