Raytheon, a subsidiary of RTX, has partnered with the Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to announce plans for building a manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas. This facility will be dedicated to producing the Tamir interceptor missile used in the cutting-edge Iron Dome rocket defense system and its U.S. variant, SkyHunter.
The Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems joint venture will invest $33 million to establish the new facility, representing a significant commitment to producing missiles for the U.S. Marine Corps and other allied partners once the facility becomes operational.
“This new Camden site will be the first all-up-round production facility in the U.S. to help support the Armed Forces and allies across the globe with this highly capable air-defense missile,” said Tom Laliberty, President of Land & Air Defense Systems at Raytheon and Chairman of the Board of Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems. “This new facility will allow us to expand our presence in Camden and further benefit from the resident talent and expertise of this aerospace and defense epicenter.”
Raytheon and Rafael have been collaborating for over a decade on the Iron Dome, a system with an impressive track record of more than 5,000 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90%. The U.S. version of the Iron Dome Weapon System’s Tamir, SkyHunter, is designed as a medium-range air defense weapon to counter a range of threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars. SkyHunter missiles will be produced for the U.S. Marine Corps Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) program.
“Arkansas is proud to be a leader in aerospace and defense, helping to safeguard the freedom and security of the United States and its allies around the world,” said Clint O’Neal, Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “East Camden offers an experienced workforce for Raytheon and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ new venture, and we look forward to the community’s and the companies’ success.”
The joint venture aims to commence construction of the new facility before the end of the year, with missile production slated to begin in 2025.