Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday announced the completion of an 85,000-SF expansion of its facility in Camden.
The expansion will increase production capacity for the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, which Lockheed bills as "the world’s most advanced air defense missile." With its dual-pulse solid rocket motor, the PAC-3 MSE is designed to defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.
Lockheed has steadily increased production of the missile since 2018. It currently makes more than 300 PAC-3 MSEs each year and is expecting to increase that number to 500.
The expansion is the second at Lockheed's Camden facility since the company announced a $142 million investment in June 2019. At the time, Lockheed officials said the growth would create 326 new jobs.
The Camden facility contributes components and performs final assembly for several of the company's key Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Precision Fires products.
"We are honored to build on this legacy through the expansion and remain committed to delivering innovative products and solutions for our country and our allied nations," Scott Greene, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the expansion.
U.S. Department of Defense officials and Gov. Asa Hutchinson also attended the ribbon-cutting.
"Lockheed Martin is a critical member of the defense industry in Arkansas," Hutchinson said. "Their dedication to Camden, our state and nation, and American allies makes Arkansas proud to be their partner."
Lockheed in May announced plans for more growth in Arkansas. The company said it had partnered with European aerospace corporation Airbus on a facility in Arkansas where the aerial refueling boom system used by a new aircraft will be produced. The project is contingent on the Lockheed landing an Air Force contract for the aircraft.