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Cobb Development Authority In Talks For Its Largest-Ever Incentive Package For Lockheed Martin Expansion

Lockheed Martin is seeking incentives to bid on new contracts and expand in Marietta.

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is looking to the Development Authority of Cobb County for property tax breaks as it competes for what is being called the largest economic development project in the agency's history.

Development authority officials approved a resolution to hold talks with Lockheed Martin about a package of property tax incentives to support a $1.6B expansion of its facilities in Marietta that would accommodate as many as 3,000 new jobs in the county over 20 years, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.

The deal hinges on Lockheed Martin winning federal defense contracts, with the proposed abatements assisting the aerospace giant in being competitive in its bids, Lockheed Martin Vice President Rod McLean told the AJC.

“This goes back to reducing our costs, bringing new employees to the area to allow us to compete and win as the phases continue to evolve for this program opportunity,” McLean told the paper.

While the total value of the incentives was kept under wraps, the authority's executive director, Nelson Geter, said the deal would represent the largest economic development effort ever asked of the authority, according to the AJC. Incentives would be phased over a 20-year period, Geter told the paper.

McLean said Lockheed is competing for several classified, long-term, high-tech programs and Air Force contracts. According to Lockheed's website, the Marietta facility handles avionics and engine modernization for the C-5 Galaxy aircraft and the P-3 Orion program operations, which include new wing production. Established by its predecessor company, The Lockheed Corp., in 1951, Lockheed Martin's Marietta site also is home to the production of the C-130J Super Hercules and manufactures the center wings for the F-35, according to the Cobb County Courier.

Lockheed Martin reported on July 20 that it reaped net earnings of $309M in the second quarter compared to $1.8B in the same period of 2021, with net sales of $15.4B this past quarter compared to $17B in the second quarter of last year.

“Although revenue in the period was affected by supply chain impacts and the timing of customer contract negotiations, our cost management initiatives resulted in margin expansion,” Lockheed Chairman and CEO James Taiclet said in a press release. “Moreover, our robust cash generation also continues to provide the resources to invest in building the foundation for future revenue and margin growth opportunities through our classified program CapEx projects, hypersonics development efforts, and our 21st-century security and internal digital transformation initiatives."