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Raytheon, Rafael Start Tamir Missile Factory Construction in Arkansas

Raytheon and Rafael joint venture R2S has begun constructing a Tamir missile manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas, to support US and Israeli requirements.

The Tamir is an interceptor commonly deployed by Tel Aviv’s Iron Dome Weapon System against other missiles and short-range artillery launched from 4 to 70 kilometers (2 to 43 miles) away.

It is fired through a guided radar and command datalink and uses a blast warhead to neutralize threats, especially against those deployed above urban areas.

Rafael said the hub will be built from Raytheon’s existing production capacity in Highland Industrial Park.

Once operational, the site is expected to create up to 60 new jobs in the state. Alongside the Tamir missiles, the R2S center will develop the US SkyHunter variant for American forces and its allied partners.

An Iron Dome launcher fires a Tamir missile to protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel. Raytheon Missiles & Defense and RAFAEL have signed a joint venture to establish an Iron Dome Weapon System production facility in the United States. (Photo: RAFAEL)
An Iron Dome launcher fires a Tamir missile to protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel. Photo: Raytheon/Rafael

“We have built and maintained fruitful collaboration based on the shared vision of both companies, committed to the highest level of technological innovation,” Rafael Executive Vice President Pini Yungman stated.

“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.”

Funding Doubled

The initial $33 million investment for R2S’ Arkansas facility was announced in October 2023. During the announcement ceremony, Raytheon and Rafael revealed that funding had been doubled to advance construction.

“Securing East Camden’s position as the arsenal of democracy has always been our vision,” Arkansas Senator John Boozman said.

“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.”

US Marines’ Iron Dome

Upon completion, the Tamir factory will support an ongoing US Marine Corps program for a medium-range intercept capability similar to the Iron Dome that uses the SkyHunter variant.

The agency procured batteries, launchers, and missiles last year for the platform’s initial prototype development. Fielding for the initiative is scheduled for 2025.

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