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Lockheed Martin CEO says America needs to invest in digital defense

Whatever the defense budget is, we will drive capability, says Lockheed Martin CEO

Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday that the U.S. needs to invest in digital technology to prepare for the future.

“What we’re trying to do at our company is be a bit of a path finder, to drive 21st century digital technologies into our armed forces and national defense,” Taiclet said. “We really do have to bring and marshal, if you will, all of American industry together to work on this.”

Taiclet added that Lockheed has alliances with companies like Nvidia, Microsoft and Intel to bring digital technology more quickly into the defense sector.

Lockheed’s shares rose in October after the company reported a better-than-expected quarter and geopolitical tensions fueled demand for its military equipment. The Biden administration is seeking a $105 billion security aid package to support the security needs of allies like Ukraine and Israel.

According to Taiclet, Lockheed is capable of doubling its F35 aircrafts with the right investments from government and its suppliers, but it might take a few years. He also said the company was asked a few years ago to double production of some of the systems that have been effective in Ukraine — like the patriot missile — adding that it is in the process of raising those munitions by about 60%.

“We want to be on offense and defense and use the latest technology to actually make that happen,” he said.

Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet goes one-on-one with Jim Cramer

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