Lockheed Martin Touts Missiles Used In Syria Strikes

In TYT Investigates by TYT Investigates0 Comments

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford deliver a briefing on April 13, 2018 regarding a joint force strike on Syria with Britain and France. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

By Michael Tracey

In an earnings call with investors Tuesday, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson touted the “successful operational debut” of a missile system, the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, in the attack ordered by President Trump in Syria earlier this month. The company’s earnings statement noted that a greater volume of JASSM sales drove higher-than-expected earnings for Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control division for the first quarter of 2018—an increase of $128 million in sales from the year before.

The April 13 strikes—conducted with France and the United Kingdom—targeted three purported Syrian chemical weapons sites in Damascus and Homs in retaliation for a chemical attack allegedly carried out by Bashar al-Assad on April 7, which killed at least 70 people. The Pentagon claimed the strikes caused no civilian casualties; the Syrian military reported three civilians and six soldiers were injured.

In the call, Hewson hailed the 19 Lockheed-produced JASSM missiles fired in Syria for “perform[ing] their missions with precision, contributing to the success of the multinational operation.”

Lockheed CFO Bruce Tanner said in the call that he expected missile sales to constitute one of the company’s “highest growth business areas” for the foreseeable future. “I think what you are seeing is not an aberration, and I would say it is going to, in my judgment, last longer than a shorter duration,” Tanner said.

The strikes effectively doubled as a demo for prospective buyers, such as Japan, which have been considering a purchase of a variant of the missile. Lockheed has previously sold JASSM missiles to Poland and Finland.

Michael Tracey is a staff reporter for TYT Investigates.

Don’t miss exclusive news stories from The Young Turks: Follow TYT Investigates on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Leave a Comment