Lockheed Martin will be moving the production of two of its missile systems back to East Camden, Ark., according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher had been built at the East Camden plant until 2013, when production of the rocket launchers for the U.S. military was stopped after 480 units were produced. The Tactical Missile System (TACMS) was previously built at a plant in El Paso, which stopped production in 2014 after 20 years working on the system. The change is part of an effort by Lockheed Martin to consolidate all of the Precision Fires missile and rocket production in Camden.
"The reopening of the [missile system] production is good news for both our domestic and international customers," Lockheed Martin VP of Tactical Missiles and Combat Maneuver Systems Frank St. John said at a local event Tuesday.
Lockheed expects to have 12 rocket launchers built by the end of next year. There will be no new employees hired for the production of the two additional systems.
“Restarting the TACMS production is excellent news for our customers seeking deep precision fire support,”said Ken Musculus, VP of tactical missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This production re-start will yield greater flexibility and significant cost-savings on a program with a rich history of reliability, affordability, and mission success.”
The TACMS missile is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile to have been fired in combat by the United States Army. The production program was originally fielded in 1990 and has shown a 98 percent readiness rate.