Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with the Rock Island Arsenal that puts the installation's factory in closer contact with one of the world's largest defense contractors.

Lockheed is the second major defense contractor to partner with the installation in the last month.

Rhys Fullerlove, an Arsenal spokesperson, said Wednesday that the partnership between Lockheed and the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is in its infant stages.

If all goes well, though, the center could become a part of Lockheed's supply chain for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV, program, he said.

Lockheed was one of three companies chosen by the Army and Marine Corps last October to work on an early development stage of the JLTV, which would replace the Humvee.

The agreement with Lockheed will allow the two entities to trade proprietary information and best practices.

Lockheed, which is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and employs 140,000 people worldwide, announced the deal Monday at a military conference in Washington, D.C.

Scott Lusk, a spokesman, said there are no projects identified as part of the agreement.

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Last month, BAE Systems, a London-based defense contractor, announced it had signed a deal with the Arsenal for the production of composite armor.

Fullerlove said the BAE agreement is far more advanced than the pact signed this week with Lockheed. He described this latest deal as a first step in seeking out potential collaborations.

The Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center has been seeking more partnerships with private industry.

Arsenal boosters believe such deals are a hedge against downsizings.

The installation, which also includes a variety of non-industrial commands, is the largest Quad-City employer.