Lockheed Martin has announced that it will invest $142m for the expansion of its Camden manufacturing facility in Arkansas, US.

The expansion of the company’s operations will create 326 new jobs by 2024. The investment announcement was made during the ongoing Paris Air Show.

The addition of new jobs will bring the workforce at the Camden facility from around 700 employees to more than 900 in the next few years.

Lockheed Martin will undertake new construction work, including two new production buildings at the site and expansion of the existing facilities for defence products, machinery and equipment.

These new buildings will support manufacturing long-range fires and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile defence capabilities.

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

Established in 1978, Camden operations is the company’s centre of excellence for precision fires and ground vehicle production. It features a combined manufacturing and support function floor space in more than 1,800 acres of land.

Lockheed Martin uses the facility as a manufacturing, final assembly, test and storage operation for its missiles and fire control (MFC) programmes.

The company also manufactures the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) launcher and family of munitions, the tactical missile system (TACMS) missile, and the high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) launcher at Camden operations.

“Lockheed’s investment illustrates the fact that Arkansas continues to be a global player in the aero-defence industry.”

Additionally, the facility produces the PAC-3 hit-to-kill air defence missile and elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System.

Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control executive vice-president Frank St John said: “Our facility in Camden is a highly efficient, high-quality centre of excellence that contributes components and performs final assembly for products that are important to the defence of the US and a growing number of allied nations.

“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.”