Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lockheed Martin ramps up HIMARS production

U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin confirmed on its Twitter account that it is ramping up production, including HIMARS multiple rocket launchers.

As noted by the company, to stay ahead of need, Lockheed Martin works with speed and adaptability, using digital engineering, agile practices and a mission-driven workforce.

“Our customers’ needs are urgent, with global demand for our products at an all-time high. We are allocating resources and transforming our world-class facilities to accelerate deliveries. It is our mission to ensure our customers remain ahead of ready, and we couldn’t do it without our passionate and highly-skilled workforce.” -Tim Cahill, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said.

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Hundreds of employees are working around the clock to ramp-up production at LM’s Camden, Ark. facility. The workforce in Camden brings innovation, passion and knowledge to define what’s next.

“But what really connects them are the missions they support, and the facility where they’re making a significant global impact,” the company said.

Nick Spurlin, a manufacturing supervisor on the HIMARS production line, is following in the footsteps of his father who worked at the facility for 30 years before him as a tooling inspector. His father passed onto him a passion for the mission and supporting those who serve. Nick came to Lockheed Martin as an operator who didn’t know much about HIMARS. Now a supervisor, he says it’s been a privilege to watch the HIMARS production line grow over the last few years.

“It’s a great feeling to know the products we produce in Camden are making a difference across the world. Everyone here works really hard and has a lot of pride in what we do to support our customer.” -Nick Spurlin, Manufacturing Supervisor.

Sitting on nearly 2,500 acres of land, Camden Operations is a manufacturing, final assembly, and testing site for several Missiles and Fire Control capabilities including HIMARS, GMLRS, ATACMS and Integrated Air and Missiles Defense products such as PAC-3.

Located in the Highland Industrial Park, the facility employs approximately 1,000 highly-skilled people who are ready to meet the increased demand. The headcount has already increased by 73 percent over the past five years, and the facility will utilize overtime when needed to accelerate production.

Camden Operations also implemented a manufacturing apprentice program in 2020 to fully equip new hires with the skillsets needed across the site. Through an educational partnership with Southern Arkansas University Tech, Lockheed Martin’s CMAP (Camden Manufacturing Apprentice Program) provides individuals in the Camden community access to multiple career pathways. This standardized training base provides the ability to cross-train within certain production areas and between programs as needed, creating flexibility for production operations.

Additional investments are being made to scale production at the facility. These include maximizing space within the factory footprint and increasing tooling. Lockheed Martin is also digitally transforming and implementing digital engineering and production practices to enhance speed, agility, and insights.

Late last year, the U.S. Army awarded contracts to increase capacity that will allow the U.S. government to replenish Department of Defense (DoD) stocks and support U.S. allies and partners.

Production capacity started at 48 units per year, but as demand increased, Lockheed Martin was able to quickly ramp up to 60 per year. The company is on track to meet the 96 units per year capacity by 2024, as requested by the U.S. Army in a Request for Information (RFI) last summer.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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