March 11, 2010 12:39:00 PM
WASHINGTON, -- An industry Mentor-Protege agreement between Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Aegisound LLC of Blacksburg, Va., was recognized with a Department of Defense Nunn-Perry Award in ceremonies yesterday evening.
Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin has assisted Aegisound in developing its capabilities as a supplier of advanced hearing-protection devices for personnel working in harsh noise environments.Hearing-protection devices from Aegisound are planned for use on aircraft carrier decks during Navy operations with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and will help preserve the hearing of service men and women.
The prestigious Nunn-Perry Award, named in honor of former Sen. Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, was first awarded in 1995 to recognize outstanding Mentor-Protege teams formed under the auspices of the DoD Mentor-Protege program.
Aegisound is a small Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) business. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is providing knowledge, experience and best manufacturing practices to help Aegisound develop its production capabilities and business infrastructure to serve defense, aerospace and commercial markets. Working through the U.S. Navy Mentor-Protege office over a three-year period, the two companies combined efforts to increase Aegisound's production and sales capacity.
"This Mentor-Protege project is a win-win-win proposition. First and most importantly, this technology provides effective hearing protection for the crews that launch airplanes from U.S. Navy carriers. Aegisound is gaining a state of the art, highly efficient manufacturing capability that will support planned growth as the demand for their products increases. The technology enables Lockheed Martin to meet important F-35 program requirements," said Gary Bailey, vice president of Supply Chain Management for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "We will continue work toward developing Aegisound into a world-class supplier, capable of producing the most sophisticated hearing protection available today," Bailey said.
Aegisound's hearing-protection and communications devices, developed under the F-35 Lightning II program, employ state-of-the-art active noise-canceling technology. The new hearing protectors replace existing hearing-protection devices that are based on 50-year-old technology. The new devices, providing both protection and intelligible communications in extreme noise environments, are worn on deck by aircraft carrier personnel conducting catapult launches and maintenance activities.
As part of the Mentor-Protege initiative, Lockheed Martin teamed with the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center to provide training, mentoring and consultancy to Aegisound. Morehouse College is an Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Atlanta, Ga.
"The mentoring assistance provided by Lockheed Martin and Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center has proven to be invaluable to Aegisound in supporting our continued growth and mission to serve and protect those who serve and protect us," said Michael Vaudrey, president and CEO of Aegisound.
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