Executives from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Huntington Ingalls Industries have expressed optimism on their financial performance in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USNI News reported Monday.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted Congress’ schedule, but Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said lawmakers are starting to work on a defense spending measure.
“It will probably see some timing impact because of the coronavirus situation. We are starting to see Congress weigh in a little bit,” Hewson said at the annual Bernstein’s Virtual Strategic Decisions Conference.
President Donald Trump proposed a $741B defense budget for fiscal year 2021, up from $738B in defense funds for FY 2020. HII CEO and previous Wash100 awardee Mike Petters said the proposed FY 2021 budget bodes well for shipbuilding.
“The budget that was submitted this year, even though it was less than the budget that was approved last year, the budget that was submitted this year is still an historically high budget, you know, relative to what shipbuilding has been over the last 30 years,” said Petters. “What that means is the outlook is still pretty bullish for shipbuilding.”
The administration’s budget proposal provides contractors a hint on areas where they could funnel their research-and-development budget into and Kathy Warden, CEO of Northrop and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said one of those areas is hypersonics.
“We’ve talked about hypersonics. We see that as part of this broader market space over the long-term, and we do believe there will be enough demand signal to support three suppliers,” Warden said.