President Joe Biden arrived in Troy Tuesday to thank employees of Lockheed Martin for their work producing anti-tank Javelin missiles, which are a primary weapon aiding Ukraine in its war against Russia.
“You’re making a gigantic difference to those poor sons-of-guns in Ukraine, who are embarrassing the Russians,” Biden told the employees, gathered in a warehouse on the Lockheed campus.
Since it was established, Troy’s Lockheed Martin facility has produced nearly 190,000 missiles, including more than 50,000 Javelin missiles. The facility supports the final assembly of many Lockheed Martin missiles including Javelins, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM), Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM), and HELLFIRE missiles.
Employee Linda Griffin introduced Biden, noting she had laid hands on almost all of the 50,000 missiles produced at the facility.
Biden told the employees they were making a crucial difference.
“We are at a point that comes along every six or eight generations,” Biden said. “We are in an ongoing battle between autocracy and democracy. You’re making it possible for the Ukrainian people to defend themselves without starting a Third World War.”
Biden’s visit came as he is urging Congress to approve $20 billion in military aid to Ukraine.
More than 5,500 Javelin missiles have already been sent to Ukraine, and Jim Taiclet, Lockheed’s chief executive, said at a seminar Friday that the country is “looking for more, obviously.”
Lockheed is seeking to expand production capabilities at the Troy site as well as other locations; the facility’s 600 employees are only capable of finishing 2,100 of the missiles each year.