“ Skunk works ” is the unofficial name ( pseudonym ) of one of the Lockheed Martin branches ( Lockheed Martin (Rus.) ) (Formerly Lockheed Corporation ), which is engaged in secret development.
“ Skunkworks ” is one of the approaches of functionaries of the US military-industrial complex to organizing the procurement of promising weapons and military equipment (IWT), from development to adoption and putting into serial production , which consists in a competitive approach not only at the stage of struggle “ paper "advance projects or prototypes (which, in general, is standard practice throughout the world), and at all stages of the process, without exception. A prerequisite for the introduction of this kind of approach to contractors was (and remains) the fact that the largest number of copies was broken by competing structures before they won the competition, after which it was possible to “relax” and relate to fulfilling the order for mass production “through the sleeves”, which is not best reflected on the quality of the finished product and caused dissatisfaction with the end users of these products - the military. The logic of big business has always prevailed over military considerations and it turned out that at the stage of competitive selection and joint testing of one or another type of weapons and military equipment, participating companies recruited the best minds of applied and theoretical science, and when it came to fulfilling the order, they hired thousands and tens of thousands of unskilled labor, which was required to “rivet” serial samples according to a ready-made template, and trained beginners on the go. As a protective measure against scammers, the army command resorted to breaking the process of developing and adopting weapons and military equipment into a large number of intermediate stages, and if earlier the procedure for adopting a promising model of weapons and military equipment was reduced to three main stages: “developed, tested, accepted (or rejected) ", Now their number has exceeded a dozen, then over two dozen, with numerous control procedures, reviews, reviews, inspections, inspection trips, etc. The number is intermediate x stages and the volume of bureaucratic procedures , as a protective measure institutionalized and developed according to its own logic, everything grew and grew, the number of persons and authorities, generals and senior officers involved in the control and verification procedures increased, and the practical benefits of them (in plan of motivating contractors to conscientious attitude to work) was becoming less and less - the fact was that to this extent large business adapted quite quickly, by going in a roundabout way, not through an order Ikov represented command the armed forces, and through their superiors in the Pentagon and Washington , so the opinion of end-users of their now generally not interested in, because it was enough to enlist the support of high-ranking military officers. By the middle of World War II , representatives of the business community, who remained offside, together with the military dissatisfied with the lack of feedback from the industry, after a long and hard struggle managed to persuade people from the presidential administration to their side (since it was about armaments and equipment received by the fighting forces) and when working on a project of a new fighter P-80 was used an approach called "Skunkworks" in which competition over the favorite (it was the company Lockheed) prevailed sword of Damocles refusal of his services or choice lternativnogo provider not only at the stage of the struggle of advance projects, but also for the entire aircraft production period. Of course, the representatives of big business were very angry with the prospect of being left with nothing after spending large sums of money on developing and launching a particular type of military equipment, so they struggled in every way against such measures, trying to stake out a particular project or area of work and drive away competitors from him, at least for the cadet period of one presidential administration (which they partially succeeded in). The term “Scanworks”, meanwhile, was privatized by Lockheed, as a regular participant in competitive projects, which was not afraid of the risk of playing this kind of “roulette”. Other competitive projects to which the Scanworks approach was applied were high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft U-2 , SR-71 , which were also won and protected from competitors by Lockheed  .
Formally, this unit was called “Lockheed's Advanced Development Project division” - a unit of advanced developments Lockheed . At the head of the unit was Clarence Johnson , nicknamed "Kelly" Johnson. The top-secret unit at Lockheed was established in 1943 specifically for the XP-80 fighter jet development program. The secret bureau received the name after a curious incident.
The secret architects of not only Lockheed firms, but also Boeing corporations, were involved in the program for the Archangel 2 project (the future Lockheed SR-71 ), although from the very beginning Lockheed developed a priority. In the early 60s, Lockheed designers were fond of reading comics about moonshine and secret moonshine , boiled in the woods, including skunks , printed on the last page of the weekly newspaper . The hobby was so strong that they began to call workers “skunks” behind their eyes; besides, the air around was really bad due to the proximity to the plastic factory. The expression "skunk works" stuck and reached the very top after a phone call to the bureau from the government. A ministry spokesman was discouraged when he was informed that “skunk works” was in touch. The fact is that the word "skunk" in colloquial speech in relation to a person is translated as "scoundrel"; but the word is not a sparrow, and the unofficial name of the secret bureau has taken root, and even the emblem of a funny skunk was invented. Pilots of the Lockheed SR-71 aircraft, in deference to the designers who developed such an outstanding aircraft, affixed the laboratory emblem to the keels of some aircraft of this model (in particular, aircraft with serial numbers 17955  and 17972  ).
- Lockheed P-38 Lightning
- Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star
- Lockheed XF-90
- Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
- Lockheed u-2
- Schweizer X-26 Frigate
- Lockheed YO-3
- Lockheed A-12
- Lockheed SR-71
- Lockheed d-21
- Lockheed have blue
- Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
- Lockheed / Boeing F-22 Raptor
- Lockheed Martin X-35 , Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
- Lockheed CL-1200
- Lockheed Martin Polecat
- SAI Quiet Supersonic Transport
- Lockheed martin cormorant
- Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk
- RQ-170 Sentinel
- Lockheed Martin X-55
- Sea Shadow
- US Aviation Industry
- Longhouser, John E .; Stansberry, William R. Competitive Skunkworks During Full Scale Development . // Army Research, Development & Acquisition Magazine , May-June 1984, v. 25, no. 3, pp. 11-13, ISSN 0162-7082.
- Emblem on the keel (Photo by habu.org)
- Emblem on the keel (Photo by habu.org)
- Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos: Skunk Works - A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed. 1994. ISBN 0316743003
- Nikolsky M.V. "Black Lightning" SR-71. Moscow. AST, Astrel. year 2001. 176 pp. ISBN 5-17-006331-8 , ISBN 5-271-01751-6
- Steve Pace: The Projects of Skunk Works - 75 Years of Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs. 2016. ISBN 0760350329