Martin Marietta / Lockheed Martin
the P6M SeaMaster is usually described as
"Martin's last airplane," production of
the P5M-2 continued until December 1960,
more than a year after the P6M was cancelled.
Moreover the Middle River factory worked
on modifications to B-57 Canberras and P5M
Marlins throughout the 1960's. In 1966,
Martin built the X-24, a manned "lifting
body" test vehicle (one of the prototypes
for the Space Shuttle), that could be described
as an aircraft. But the company's main focus
clearly shifted from airplanes to missiles
helped pioneer American missile development
in the 1940's, building the Navy Gorgon
IV ramjet and KDM-1 Plover target drone,
as well as the Air Force B-61 Matador (and
its successor the TM-71 Mace) tactical missile.
These were winged "pilotless aircraft" similar
in construction to Martin's earlier products.
The lack of a pilot, however, meant an important
role for electronic guidance systems. In
the "systems engineering teams" (originally
used on the XB-48 project) set up to build
each missile, Martin electronics engineers
assumed ever greater roles. This development
continued as the 1950's saw the emergence
of vertically launched ballistic missiles.
The Martin Viking, built for the Navy, was
the first of these; it developed into the
Vanguard satellite-launch vehicle. Martin
established two new factories to build missiles:
at Denver in 1955 for the Air Force Titan
intercontinental ballistic missile; and
at Orlando in 1958 for the Army's Pershing
tactical ballistic missile. These were accompanied
by an increasing number of space projects,
including the Gemini launch vehicles, Viking
Mars lander, Space Shuttle external fuel
tank, and Magellan Venus probe. Weapons
development continued with laser-guided
"smart" munitions, Patriot anti-missile
defenses, and research for President Ronald
Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative.
1961 Martin President George Bunker engineered
a merger with the American-Marietta Company,
a conglomerate manufacturing paint, cement,
and household consumer goods. The resulting
diversification allowed Martin Marietta
to survive the defense cuts of the 1970's.
During the early 1980's, however, most of
the non-defense businesses were sold; the
proceeds were used to pay for Martin Marietta's
epic resistance to a take-over attempt by
William Agee's Bendix Corporation. Martin
Marietta then became a primary beneficiary
of increased defense spending during the
rest of the decade.
the leadership of Chairman Norman Augustine,
the company took a different approach during
the defense cutbacks of the early 1990's.
Martin Marietta purchased even larger shares
of the nation's weapons and space business.
In 1992, General Electric's aerospace electronics
division was acquired, not long after GE
had purchased RCA's space electronics division.
In 1993, General Dynamics' space systems
division was added. March 1995 saw the unprecedented
merger between Martin Marietta and Lockheed,
one of Martin's old rivals. This was just
months after Lockheed had purchased General
Dynamics' aircraft division, successor to
another old competitor Consolidated.
earlier eras of reduced armaments spending,
the U.S. government had preserved a competitive
manufacturing industry by doling out small
orders to a number of manufacturers, including
the Glenn L. Martin Company. During the
1990's, the Defense Department seemed to
be following an opposite course - actually
encouraging large-scale consolidations like
Lockheed Martin and Northrop-Grumman.
all these changes, the original 1929 Glenn
L. Martin plant - along with most of its
World War II additions - still stand in
Middle River. Plant Number 1, leased by
General Electric's Middle River Aircraft
Systems (MRAS), manufactures jet engine
thrust reversers for Pratt and Whitney and
GE. Lockheed Martin utilizes the former
ET Building (used for static test of the
P6M) in manufacturing the MK 41 VLS and
THAAD missile launching systems. The company
also designs advanced ship hullform structures.
Plant Number 2, back in government hands,
serves as a storage depot. The airport,
since 1975 the property of the State of
Maryland, is base for its Air National Guard
and for general aviation. One of the hangers
houses the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation
Museum, founded in 1990.