Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet warned during a Sunday interview that supply chain issues were hurting his company’s ability to ramp up production of a critical weapon that the U.S. has shipped to Ukraine in an effort to beat back Russia’s invasion into the country.
The comments about Javelins, which are portable, long-range guided anti-tank missiles that can be operated by a single soldier, come as the U.S. has reportedly provided 7,000 Javelins to Ukraine’s military.
When asked during a CBS News interview with Margaret Brennan about what his company was doing to “scale up production to get more to [Ukraine] and to backfill what the U.S. has given up,” Taiclet said that efforts were underway to address the issue but that it could take years to complete due to supply chain issues.
“We are therefore on our side, accelerating our investment in that factory and in our workforce there,” he said. “So we’re already investing ahead of time to buy tooling, to expand the plant and also support our suppliers to get ready to ramp up production. So right now, our capacity is 2,100 Javelin missiles per year. We’re endeavoring to take that up to 4,000 per year, and that will take a number of months, maybe even a couple of years to get there because we have to get our supply chain to-to also crank up. As we do so, we think we can almost double the capacity in a reasonable amount of time.”
Taiclet urged lawmakers to take action to invest more in infrastructure needed to increase domestic supply of semiconductors, which are necessary to build any kind of advanced weaponry.
“Well, we’re planning for the long run and not just in the Javelin, because this situation, the Ukraine conflict, has highlighted a couple of really important things for us,” he said. “One is that we need to have superior systems in large enough numbers. So like Javelin, Stingers, advanced cruise missiles, equipment like that. So we know there’s going to be increased demand for those kinds of systems from the US and for our allies as well and beyond into Asia-Pacific, most likely too.”
Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet tells @margbrennan his company is trying to double the production of javelin missiles to help support Ukrainians in the war with Russia and backfill U.S. needs but it “will take a number of months maybe even a couple of years.” pic.twitter.com/4OkRdshfxG
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