Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s biggest defence companies. It employs 110,000 people in 54 countries, has 375 facilities around the world and, in 2020, earned nearly $60 billion, a sum which exceeds the gross domestic product of some of the smaller European countries. The company is involved in a wide range of activities from building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to developing advanced weapons systems and participation in space exploration missions. Meanwhile, its shadowy Skunk Works is working on new and more deadly weapons but also on technologies which could bring major benefits to the world through reduced energy costs and the wider availability of clean water. Lockheed Martin was formed in March 1995 by what was termed a “merger of equals” between Lockheed and Martin Marietta, two companies whose roots go back to the dawn of aviation. Since then the group has expanded to include some of the most famous names in aviation history, which according to Marillyn A Hewson, outgoing chairman, president and chief executive officer, “developed some of the most innovative technologies of the 20th century.” Writing in the company’s 2020 annual report, Hewson declared: “As we celebrate 25 years as a single company, I’m proud to report that Lockheed Martin has never been stronger. In the decades to come, we will further the rich legacies of our heritage companies by continuing to shape the future of aerospace and defence around the world.”