Defense giant Raytheon is partnering with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to build a $33-million manufacturing plant in East Camden, Ark., to produce Tamir missiles for the Iron Dome Weapon System and its U.S. variant, SkyHunter®. Groundbreaking for the plant will take place this year.
The plant will produce missiles for the U.S. Marine Corps and allied partners starting in 2025.
The two companies are joint venture partners in Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems – which supplies the Iron Dome missile-defense batteries that have been essential to protecting Israeli citizens and infrastructure since 2011. The system detects and intercepts rockets, artillery shells, and mortar fire by launching Tamir missiles that knock down the incoming projectiles from a range of 4 to 70 km. Ten Iron Dome batteries are in place in Israel.
Rafael co-developed Iron Dome with Israeli Aerospace Industries, with Raytheon joining the project as a producer of Tamir missile components.
SkyHunter is a medium-range air defense weapon based on Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missile, designed to counter a range of threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars. Manufacturing SkyHunter in the United States will expand the availability of missile defense for the U.S. and its allies, according to Raytheon.
"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," stated Tom Laliberty, president of Raytheon's Land & Air Defense Systems and chairman 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."