326 new jobs are to be created in south Arkansas as part of a Lockheed Martin expansion. At the Paris Air Show Monday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and representatives from the company announced the expansion of a plant in Camden. The governor sent a tweet about the announcement Monday morning.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) June 17, 2019
The facility currently employs approximately 700 people. A press release from the Governor’s Office said the investment will allow the site to shift from focusing only on the production of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to producing a variety of other missile and defense systems used by the U.S. military and its allies.
In a press release the governor said, "Lockheed's investment illustrates the fact that Arkansas continues to be a global player in the aero-defense industry."
According to an Arkansas Economic Development Commission report “aircraft/spacecraft” was the state’s largest export in 2017, with the majority of those products being sold to France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. A spokeswoman for the AEDC said hiring has begun for the new jobs in Camden and construction on the facilities, set to begin in August, is expected to be completed by 2022.
In the press release, 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."