Lockheed still in telecom chase

The end of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s global telecommunications business does not signal the end of the company's involvement in the telecom industry.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., continues to lead a team pursuing the Federal Aviation Administration's multibillion-dollar telecom infrastructure project, known as FTI.

FTI is a 10-year, $2 billion program to replace the FAA's telecommunications systems with a single integrated communications network. Bids for the contract, which includes options that could extend it over 15 years, are due in January. The contract award is scheduled for the end of June.

Lockheed Martin announced Dec. 7 that it plans to shut down Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications and exit the global telecommunications business, citing overcapacity in the industry worldwide as the primary reason for the decision.

Since that announcement, the company has had to reassure government officials, industry partners and even Lockheed Martin employees, who have wanted to know what effect the decision would have on the company's pursuit of FTI, company officials said.

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