Contractors Taking Diversification Seriously as Defense Spending Shrinks

April 3, 2013

Bethesda-based contracting giant Lockheed Martin earlier this year received a patent for Perforene, a material used to make water potable by removing sodium, chlorine and other ions.

It was a personal victory for John B. Stetson Jr., a Lockheed senior technical fellow who came up with the idea more than three years ago, but it was also a significant step for a defense contractor that has been primarily focused on the government market.

As contractors encounter shrinking federal budgets, they are increasingly seeking to bolster their presences in the international and commercial markets. Companies have long been promising this diversification, but there are now more signs this effort is fully underway.

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