by Tyler Hale
Lockheed Martin has broken ground on a new production facility at its Camden site.
Company executive and Arkansas officials were on hand today in Camden as construction for the new Long Range Fires Production Facility was launched. The new construction project will add more than 70,000 square feet of production and office space to Lockheed Martin’s existing facilities at Highland Industrial Park.
Construction is currently set to be completed in early 2021.
The new production facility is designed to accomodate increased defense orders, including the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and the Low-Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR).
“This new building represents Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meeting our customers’ current and future needs, as well as bringing more high-paying jobs to the Camden area,” Justin Routon, site director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s facility, said in a statement. “Our facility has a long record of precision manufacturing and on-time deliveries, which is the reason Lockheed Martin continues to invest in our Camden Operations and this is an exciting first step in our expansion process.”
Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston was at the groundbreaking for the site. He says the facility expansion is evidence of the state’s workforce quality and business-friendly climate.
“The global footprint of Lockheed Martin stretches across every continent,” Commerce Secretary Mike Preston says. “The fact that they chose to continue investing and growing their presence in Camden speaks to the quality of workforce they’ve come to depend upon and the business climate we’re building in Arkansas. The 300-plus new jobs will bring their total employment in the area to more than 900, strengthening the aerospace and defense sector in the state and exports as a whole.”
This facility expansion is part of Lockheed Martin’s $142 million investment announced in June 2019 at the Paris Air Show. The Bethesda, Maryland-headquartered firm said the company would be expanding the Camden “center of excellence” and improve infrastructure. The site currently employs around 700 individuals, and the expansion is expected to create 326 new jobs.
At the time of the investment announcement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson praised Lockheed Martin for its commitment to the state. “Lockheed Martin is a leading technology firm with facilities and clients around the world,” Hutchinson said. “Lockheed’s investment illustrates the fact that Arkansas continues to be a global player in the aero-defense industry.”
The groundbreaking is the latest big news this month for Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin recently was awarded a $266.2 million contract to supply equipment for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft program. The contract, awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, is expected to impact the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and other agencies. In addition, the firm was awarded a hypersonic weapons contract worth an estimated $347 million earlier this month to develop and test the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 6.0.
The company’s stock performance has been trending steadily upwards in 2019. At the beginning of January 2019, Lockheed Martin’s stock was $264.73 (on Jan. 2) and has risen since that time with intermittenent dips.
Today, the company’s stock dropped to $371.32 per share from an opening price of $377.29. However, the stock quickly recovered to $375.97. As of press time, the stock was $381.32 per share, up $1.11, or 0.29 percent, from its opening.
Images courtesy of Lockheed Martin and Google