THE head of the Royal Navy has hailed a deal between global defence giant Lockheed Martin and the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope witnessed the signing of a six-year partnership at the Nelson gallery of the museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Lockheed Martin, which is developing the navy’s next generation of fighter jets and employs 500 people in Havant, is the first corporate partner of the museum.
The deal will see the firm working closely with curators to teach young visitors about the role of science and technology within the navy in the past and present.
Admiral Stanhope said: ‘Supporting the heritage of the navy is about recognising what happened in the past and getting the nation to understand the history of the Royal Navy and it’s about keeping hold of our moral compass and keeping hold of that ethos of the Royal Navy.
‘I’m continually reminded as I go around the country just how justly and fiercely proud the British public is of its Royal Navy.
‘After all, it’s very much part of what it really does mean to be British and the museum strengthens that relationship between nation and navy.
‘The support of organisations such as Lockheed Martin in the work here to preserve and further the impact of science and technology, and the impact that science and technology has and has had in maintaining the Royal Navy’s military advantage past and present, is vital for our future.’
Stephen Ball, chief executive of Lockheed Martin in the UK, said the partnership with the museum aims to inspire the younger generation into looking for a job within science and engineering.
He said: ‘One of the challenges we face is finding people with the stem [science, technology, engineering and maths] skills as they call it – people who want a career in science and engineering.
‘Things like this naval museum are just perfect in terms of building enthusiasm for science.
‘The purpose of a museum is so the old can remember and the young can understand and I think it’s the bit about the young can understand which particularly underlines the future and how we build that. I remember going to museums and seeing aircraft and ships and things like that and it does make you want to be involved.
‘We are very much part of the UK’s industrial landscape now. The former First Sea Lord Sir Jonathon Band is a non-executive director on the Lockheed Martin board and he is of course chairman of the trustees at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
‘We’ve been involved with the Royal Navy for many years.’