Israel will soon be home to a cutting edge Lockheed Martin Corp. facility.

The American defense contractor that has made billions manufacturing and selling cutting-edge technology in the aerospace, security and technology markets, announced organizers in a press conference earlier this week.


Lockheed said the planned research and development center would be opening in an industrial park in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

An international corporation headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed and Israeli data storage equipment maker EMC Israel will work together on the project, partnering with local industry, government and academic institutions, reports Reuters. The two companies have so far invested a combined $1 million in the project.

“Our goal is to foster applied research and continued growth in Israel’s technology sector,” said Lockheed Martin vice president of international engineering and technology John Evans in a statement. “We recognize evolving global needs, as well as the wealth of innovation taking place within Israel and its universities.”

The joint venture was officially announced in a ceremony Monday attended by Chandra McMahon, senior VP Commercial Markets, Lockheed Martin IS&GS Bob Eastman, vice president Global Solutions at Lockheed-Martin, Dr. Orna Berry, head of EMC Israel and Professor Rivka Carmi, president of Ben Gurion University, reports the Times of Israel.

During the ceremony, the group of officials inked a deal to work on projects involving cloud computing, data analytics and cyber technology, with the specific goal of helping Israel’s cyber-security start-ups and help them bring promising ideas to market, according to the Times.

While most people think defense contracting when they think Lockheed, company officials say this new venture should help prove the corporation has other areas of expertise as well.

“A lot of people do think that, but it happens that we actually do a lot of information technology work, which means we need a lot of cyber-security,” said Chandra McMahon, Senior VP Commercial Markets, Lockheed Martin IS&GS. “We need good cyber technologies to protect our customers, and Israel is a great place for that.”