Robert Lightfoot, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s space business, said the company launched a new unit, dubbed Ignite, to promote innovation and facilitate the maturation of technologies to accelerate the delivery of on-orbit capabilities to government agency customers, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.
“What we’ve heard from the traditional customers is: ‘we need better technical maturity, we need to get it faster,’” he told the publication in an interview at a conference Thursday.
Lightfoot, a 2023 Wash100 awardee, said Lockheed Martin Space allowed four separate organizations to work together to form the Ignite team, which launched in 2022 as a small beta version, and accelerate tech development efforts.
“Their whole goal is to get these innovations over the ‘valley of death,’ so that we can then show the customer we’ve got maturity in the systems we come offer to them, so that they don’t have to take the risk,” he noted.
Lightfoot also discussed some of the projects being carried out by the Ignite unit, including the LM400 mid-sized satellite bus, Pony Express 2 satellite and TacSat or the Tactical Satellite tech demo.