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Raytheon and Rafael to Establish Missile Manufacturing Facility in Arkansas

by Anna

Raytheon, in collaboration with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is set to construct a missile manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas. The facility will be dedicated to the production of Tamir missiles for the Iron Dome Weapon System and its U.S. counterpart, SkyHunter.

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As part of the Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems joint venture, the companies are investing $33 million in capital to establish this state-of-the-art facility. Upon its operational readiness, the facility will focus on missile production for the U.S. Marine Corps and allied partners.

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Raytheon’s President of Land & Air Defense Systems and Chairman of the Board of Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems, Tom Laliberty, expressed, “This new Camden site will mark the first all-up-round production facility in the United States, dedicated to supporting the Armed Forces and global allies with this highly capable air-defense missile. This new establishment will enable us to expand our footprint in Camden, capitalizing on the local aerospace and defense expertise.”

The collaboration between Raytheon and Rafael extends over a decade with their work on the Iron Dome, boasting an impressive record of over 5,000 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90%. The U.S. variant of the Iron Dome Weapon System, the Tamir-equipped SkyHunter, serves as a medium-range air defense solution designed to counter a wide array of threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars. The production of SkyHunter missiles will cater to the U.S. Marine Corps Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) program.

Clint O’Neal, Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, underlined the state’s commitment to aerospace and defense, stating, “Arkansas is proud to be a leader in aerospace and defense, helping to safeguard the freedom and security of the United States and its allies around the world. East Camden provides a skilled workforce for Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ latest venture, and we eagerly anticipate the community’s and the companies’ success.”

The joint venture is planning to commence construction on the new facility by the end of the year, with the objective of initiating missile production operations in 2025. This development reflects a significant step toward enhancing defense capabilities and fostering economic growth in the region.

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