Governor Sanders Joins R2S, State Leaders to Break Ground on Manufacturing Facility in East Camden

Companies increase investment to $63 million, nearly double previous announcement

EAST CAMDEN, Ark. (February 21, 2024) — Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined R2S and state and local leaders to break ground on R2S’s new manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas. The facility will produce the Tamir missile for the Iron Dome Weapon System and its variant, the SkyHunter® missile to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. allies.

R2S is a joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense System and Raytheon, an RTX business. This facility represents an investment of approximately $63 million for R2S and will create up to 60 new jobs in the region, roughly double the companies’ previous commitment. The R2S facility will build on RTX’s existing production capacity at the Highland Industrial Park.

Company representatives joined Governor Sanders and state officials to announce the project in October 2023. The Governor also met with company representatives at the Paris Air Show last summer to discuss the company’s investments in Arkansas.

“It’s an honor to join R2S for today’s groundbreaking, just as it was an honor to announce this project in October and meet with company representatives last summer at the Paris Air Show,” said Governor Sanders. “This investment will be a boon for the local economy: $63 million and 60 new jobs. More than that, our world is a whole lot less secure than it used to be, and this facility makes our country safer. Thank you to all who made this announcement possible, and thank you to the team in Camden for helping our state stand out.”

“R2S is pleased to announce today that it’s almost doubling the capital investment for the project here in Camden, Arkansas from $33 million to $63 million, and it may create up to 60 new jobs. This increase represents the commitment by both partners to support this critical project for the USMC and to our allies around the world that depend on a reliable air defense system,” said Annabel Flores, deputy president of Land & Air Defense Systems, Raytheon.“ None of this could have happened without committed partners in RTX, Rafael, the United States Marine Corp, the Arkansas congressional delegation, Governor Sanders and her economic development team and the Camden community.”

“Today, we mark a significant milestone in the Iron Dome program – one of the most important and advanced air defense systems in the world. The establishment of the new facility is the result of strong cooperation between Rafael and Raytheon, who joined forces about 18 years ago,” said Pini Yungman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Air & Missile Defense Division, Rafael. “We have built and maintained fruitful collaboration based on the shared vision of both companies, committed to the highest level of technological innovation. The United States is a true partner; and local production, which we have aspired to for many years, will strengthen the partnership while safeguarding the interests of all sides. I am confident that we are ready for further cooperation in the future aimed at ensuring the security of the citizens of Israel and America.”

“Securing East Camden’s position as the arsenal of democracy has always been our vision,” said Senator John Boozman. “After years of hard work, I’m proud to celebrate this groundbreaking and advance the vital role the community will play in our national security and supporting our allies well into the future. I will continue advocating for funding to encourage more defense industry investment in our state, help the region grow and provide well-paying jobs for Arkansans.”

“This new facility will usher in high quality jobs for Arkansans and will be instrumental in ensuring the Natural State remains a global leader in aerospace and defense manufacturing. Investments such as this are critical in bolstering our national defense capabilities. Congratulations to R2S, Raytheon, and Rafael on this groundbreaking,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04).

“Arkansas is a major center for aerospace and defense manufacturing, with an experienced workforce and favorable business environment that helps companies succeed,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Congratulations to R2S, Raytheon and Rafael on their groundbreaking in East Camden and to the local leaders for creating the conditions that give companies the confidence to grow in their community.”

“This groundbreaking ceremony represents the culmination of many months of effort by our partners to make this project a reality for our state and community,” said James Lee Silliman, executive director of the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development. “Our team partners are to be commended for their support on the project. Many thanks are owed to those partners beginning with R2S-RTX/Rafael partnership, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, AEDC, Highland Industrial Park management, Calhoun County Judge Floyd Nutt and my Team Camden members.”

“We are proud that Calhoun County will be the home of the R2S manufacturing facility,” said Calhoun County Judge Floyd Nutt. “South Arkansas has a long history in aerospace and defense manufacturing, and this project will build on that history. Calhoun County provides a strong workforce and great business environment for R2S’s, RTX’s, and Rafael’s continued growth.”

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