Lockheed snags huge Air Force deals for missile work in Orlando (by Alex Soderstrom)

A pair of missile contracts will launch new local work for Lockheed Martin Corp.

The U.S. Air Force awarded two contracts worth a combined $842 million to Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), announced the Department of Defense on Feb. 22. Both will create work for Lockheed in Orlando, where the Bethesda, Maryland-based defense giant employs 8,000 workers and seeks to hire hundreds more.

Global defense spending is projected to grow 2.8% in 2021 and surpass $2 trillion, according to a report by global auditing firm Deloitte. U.S. defense spending is projected to stay flat in fiscal 2021, according to Deloitte.

The experience of people U.S. President Joe Biden has named to top national security posts and perceived security threats around the globe make Lockheed CEO James Taiclet confident the U.S. defense budget is unlikely to suffer major cuts, he said during a Jan. 26 earnings call. “We feel that supports a stable defense budget going forward.”