UP to 300 jobs could be created in Hampshire thanks to the expansion of a defence giant.

Lockheed Martin UK, which already employs around 200 people at its Whiteley base, is looking to take on hundreds more staff over the next two years.

They would work at the firm’s Solent Business Park base mainly in software systems engineering and integration.

Daily Echo:

Recruits would be a mix of workers already experienced in those areas and people they could train.

The business has grown massively in the past year, partly due to the acquisition of business technology solutions company Amor Group, which employs 550 people.

Mark Cooper, managing director of Lockheed Martin UK Information Systems and Global Solutions Civil, said, although in the past the company has been very defence orientated and its IT services were “a well-kept secret”, he was planning to expand that side of the business.

In the next few years the company, which currently employs around 600 people in Hampshire, hopes to become more focused on commercial projects to the point where it is 45 per cent commercial and 55 per cent defence.

Mr Cooper, pictured below, said, with defence budgets being cut, it was more prudent for them to look at IT and air traffic management systems more.

Daily Echo:

The company is currently growing in size 15 per cent year on year and currently turns over around £1bn a year.

It is looking to double the size of the business in the next four to five years.

Primarily a global security and aerospace company with business activities which cover both defence and commercial business sectors, Lockheed Martin employs more than 3,000 people in the UK.

The acquisition of Scottishbased Amor Group brought in many smaller contracts than Lockheed Martin would have previously handled and helped the company diversify further into new commercial areas.

In the past year Lockheed Martin’s Information Communications Tech- nology business has gone from employing 400 people to 1,100.

Daily Echo:

Mr Cooper said 2013 was a year to remember, when the company’s information technology business won every single bid it submitted totalling £300m of new contracts, and he hopes for further success in 2014.

The company employs 400 people in Havant, focused on Merlin helicopters and postal system contracts.

It has bases in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dubai and Houston.