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Following Meeting with Gov. Sanders at Paris Air Show, RTX Announces $33M Manufacturing Facility in East Camden for Iron Dome Defense Systems

 October 26, 2023
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— RTX, in partnership with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, today announced they will build a new, $33 million manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas, that will create 30 new jobs in the region. The facility will produce the Tamir missile for the Iron Dome Weapon System and its U.S. variant, the SkyHunter® missile to be used by U.S. Marine Corps and our allies.

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and officials from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Department of Commerce met with Raytheon executives at the Paris Air Show to secure this investment. The new manufacturing facility builds on RTX's existing production capacity at the Highland Industrial Park in East Camden.

“This month’s brutal assault on Israel by Hamas terrorists has proven the need for a strong defense industrial base and a strong Iron Dome system for our allies. With today’s announcement, Arkansas is stepping up to meet those needs,” said Governor Sanders. “This is one of many future announcements to come out of meetings at this year’s Paris Air Show, where I sat down with executives from across the world to pitch them on Arkansas’ growing aerospace industry. I’m proud that South Arkansas will serve the U.S. Marine Corps as well as our allies. Arkansas’ role in America’s defense will continue to grow and bring jobs and opportunity to the state.”

“This expansion will support our ability to address the needs of both current and future customers,” said Jeff Shockey, senior vice president of Global Government Relations at RTX. “Thanks to the unwavering support of Governor Huckabee Sanders and the Arkansas Congressional delegation, this new facility allows us to expand our presence in Camden, leverage the established defense community and workforce, and build our capacity to support the growing needs of our global customers and eventually augment Rafael’s direct support for Israeli Defense Forces.”

“This new Camden site will be the first all-up-round production facility in the US to help support the Armed Forces and allies across the globe with this highly-capable air defense missile,” said Raytheon’s Tom Laliberty, president of Land & Air Defense Systems and Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems chairman of the board. “This new facility will allow us to expand our presence in Camden and further benefit from the resident talent and expertise of this aerospace and defense epicenter.” 

“I’m proud our efforts over the past several years to demonstrate why East Camden is the best location to build a modern air defense capability for the U.S. Marine Corps as well as Israel’s long-term air defense has paid off. This decision is good for our allies and our national security,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

“For decades, Camden has built the arsenals that protect America and our allies. This new project will help ensure Israel has the defenses necessary to protect itself. Arkansans can be proud knowing a Camden-manufactured system will provide protection to our nation and key allies like Israel,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).

“Today is another great day to do business in Arkansas. This deal will provide high-paying jobs for the community of Camden, and much-needed equipment for American defense and the support of our allies abroad. At a time when global conflict is on the rise, Arkansas and American manufacturers are rising to meet demand. National security is something we must never take for granted, and building the tools to keep us safe right here in Arkansas is a testament to the excellent business climate that Governor Sanders and our state legislature have fostered. I look forward to seeing the economic impacts of this new development and watching my home state continue to grow and thrive,” said Congressman Westerman (AR-04).

"I'm thrilled to see Raytheon-Rafael Protection Systems (R2S) announce their new facility in Camden, Arkansas. This facility will produce Iron Dome missiles for the American military and the IDF right here in the Natural State. This facility builds on the Iron Dome missile component manufacturing work in Northwest Arkansas. I'm proud to see this announcement – particularly during our Israeli friends' time of need,” said Congressman Womack (AR-03).

“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,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “East Camden offers an experienced workforce for Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ new venture, and we look forward to the community’s and the companies’ success.”

"We are proud to welcome Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' new venture to Calhoun County. The aerospace and defense industry is critical to our county’s economic success, and we look forward to supporting the companies as they expand their manufacturing capacity in Calhoun County,” said Calhoun County Judge Floyd Nutt.

"The Calhoun and Ouachita County area is a hub of the aerospace and defense industry in Arkansas and the United States. We are excited that Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have chosen East Camden to build a new manufacturing facility, and we stand ready to help these companies succeed in our community,” said Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development Executive Director James Lee Silliman.