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story.lead_photo.caption Artist rendering of the new Lockheed Martin facility

— An area industry is taking the first step in establishing a new facility that will lead to economic development in the area.

Lockheed Martin Camden Operation will host a ground- breaking ceremony from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. today on a new 70,000 square-foot production facility in support of the company’s $142M investment that will create 326 new jobs across the site by 2024.

LMCO currently employs around 700 workers in the Camden area.

The announcement was made in conjunction with Gov. Asa Hutchinson at the Paris Air Show – a worldwide trade show for the aerospace and defense industry back in June.

“Lockheed Martin is a leading technology firm with facilities and clients around the world,” said Hutchinson. “Lockheed’s investment illustrates the fact that Arkansas continues to be a global player in the aero-defense industry.”

According to a news release, the expansion will support new construction and improve existing facilities for products like Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Army Tactical Missile System (ATacMS), Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and others, plus new machinery and equipment. Previously the facility was dedicated to High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) production only.

“Our facility in Camden is a highly efficient, high quality center of excellence that contributes components and performs final assembly for products that are important to the defense of the United States and a growing number of allied nations,” Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said.

“The facility has a long record of precision manufacturing and on-time deliveries, which is the reason we continue to invest in and expand our Camden Operations.

“This expansion will help ensure the availability, affordability and quality of systems we build for our customers around the world,” he added.

“The high-paying jobs Lockheed Martin provides in the Camden area improve the quality of life for our communities and the state as a whole and we’re thankful for their partnership in the Golden Triangle,” said James Lee Silliman, Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development executive director.

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