Lockheed Martin, a mainstay of South Arkansas' defense industry, will be building missile launchers and hardware in East Camden under a half-billion contract to supply the U.S. Army and Marines, as well as the militaries of Poland and Romania.
The components are for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS.
Lockheed Martin's sprawling Camden operation, the Precision Fires Center of Excellence, will produce the HIMARS vehicles from the ground up, according to a company news release. The contract, worth $492,108,514, calls for the launchers to be completed by 2022.
"Lockheed Martin is very pleased that Poland has procured its first HIMARS launchers," Gaylia Campbell, a Lockheed Martin vice president, said in a statement. She said the new launchers "provide unparalleled mobile firepower to light and early entry forces, and our allies can count on Lockheed Martin's ongoing support in maintaining these combat-proven capabilities."
HIMARS launchers are lightweight and can be transported by a C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, the company said. The system consists of a launcher loader module and fire control systems mounted on a five-ton truck chassis. Three crew members operate it from a specialized armored cab.
Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland, employs about 700 workers in the Camden area.