Lockheed Martin (LMT) invests in electric seaplane company to expedite use in defense

Leading defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin (LMT) revealed Wednesday a new investment in pioneering electric seaplane maker REGENT to expedite use in defense situations.

With over $66 billion in sales last year, Lockheed Martin remained one of the top US defense manufacturers in 2022.

Best known for making some of the most lethal, advanced defense innovations like the F-35 Fighter Jet, Lockheed Martin looks to modernize and streamline its operations to remain competitive in the future.

One of the biggest trends currently is the move to fully electric technology, offering more power with lower operating costs.

Through its venture arm, Lockheed Martin Ventures, the company invested in Electra’s Series A fundraise in January of last year.

Electra is developing a hybrid electric eSTOL aircraft capable of carrying nine passengers, two pilots, and 50 lbs of baggage per person for over 400 nautical miles. Perhaps, more importantly, the aircraft will be able to take off in as little as 300 feet.

Taking a deeper plunge into electric technology, Lockheed Martin, through its venture division, revealed Wednesday it has invested in electric seaplane maker REGENT.

Lockheed Martin invests in electric seaplane maker REGENT

REGENT develops and manufactures all-electric seaplanes to promote fast, efficient, and emission-free travel.

The company has sold over 400 sea gliders to date to customers across the globe, with over $7.9 billion in orders for its 12-passenger sea glider, Viceroy.

Lockheed Martin says it will use the electric seaplanes “to expedite the development of seagliders for defense missions.”

REGENT’s all-electric, zero-emission seagliders combine the maximum speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat with the ability to carry people and goods (3,500 lbs payload) quickly up to 180 miles at 180 miles per hour. CEO of REGENT, Billy Thalheimer, explains:

We see defense strategy evolving toward an island-hopping force featuring agile, affordable, and distributed craft.

He added the investment shows EV seagliders can fill the immediate need for high-priority missions within the Department of Defense.

VP and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures, Chris Morgan, explains:

We believe that REGENT seagliders can bring tailored solutions to the future battlespace.

The 65-foot wing-span electric seagliders will use eight redundant electric motors for an output of 120 kW.

REGENT says the electric seaplane will enter service by 2025, with full-scale prototypes beginning sea trials by the end of the year.

Electrek’s Take

Electric seaplanes for defense can be a great idea due to the ability to take off and land quickly and stealthily, being 30DB quieter than an aircraft or helicopter.

Lockheed Martin sees the opportunity to use fully electric technology to enhance defense. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about the collaboration.

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