Raytheon, an RTX business, is collaborating with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to create a production facility in East Camden, Arkansas, to manufacture the Tamir missile for the Iron Dome Weapon System and its US counterpart, SkyHunter. 

The facility will serve the US Marine Corps and allied partners, marking a development in aerospace and defence capabilities.

Through their established joint venture, the Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems, the two companies have committed to a $33m capital investment to develop this facility. Once operational, the facility will play a role in producing missiles for the US Marine Corps and several allied partners, bolstering their air defence capabilities.

Rafael ADS is a contractor on various Israeli air defence programs, including Barak LR-SAM, Iron Dome, and David’s Sling, while also being the lead developer of the Iron Beam directed energy weapons system, according to GlobalData’s “Thematic Intelligence: Missile Defense” report. 

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Raytheon’s Tom Laliberty, the president of Land & Air Defense Systems and chairman of the board of Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems, stated, “This new Camden site will be the first all-up-round production facility in the US to help support the Armed Forces and allies across the globe with this highly capable air-defence missile. 

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 defence epicentre.”

The partnership between Raytheon and Rafael has been ongoing for over a decade, primarily focusing on the development and deployment of the Iron Dome System, which has achieved a success rate with over 5,000 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90%. 

The US SkyHunter, is designed to provide medium-range air defence, countering various threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars. These SkyHunter missiles will be produced to support the US Marine Corps Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) programme.

Clint O’Neal, the executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, highlighted the significance of this venture for Arkansas, saying, “Arkansas is proud to be a leader in aerospace and defence, helping to safeguard the freedom and security of the United States and its allies around the world. 

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 plans to break ground on the new facility before the end of the year to commence missile production by 2025. 

RTX announced its Q3 results recently, reporting a 21% decrease in sales compared to the previous year. Raytheon recorded an operating profit of $560 million, down 18% from the prior year.