Mission Focused: Ramping Up Production Ahead of Evolving Threats

Mission Focused: Ramping Up Production Ahead of Evolving Threats
February 16, 2023
The demand for 21st Century Security products is greater than ever to ensure the safety and security of the U.S. military and its allies. To stay ahead of need, Lockheed Martin is working with speed and adaptability, using digital engineering, agile practices and a mission-driven workforce. Across our business, we are transforming with urgency and accelerating these capabilities to support our customers’ national security missions.

Some of the most critical and proven systems Lockheed Martin delivers to domestic and international customers are manufactured at our Camden and Pike County Operations in Arkansas and Alabama, and are supported by facilities across the U.S. including in Grand Prairie, Texas and Orlando, Florida.

These teams are driven by our deep sense of mission to tackle our customers’ biggest challenges and, in doing so, inspire and redefine what is possible for future generations.

Small-Town Workforce Making Global Impacts

Hundreds of employees are working around the clock to ramp-up production at our Camden, Ark. facility, and each one has their own story of living and working in the small, close-knit town. Even the facility’s Ground Vehicle Assembly Building has its own unique history, once serving as a diaper manufacturing plant. The workforce in Camden brings innovation, passion and knowledge to define what’s next. But what really connects them are the missions they support, and the facility where they’re making a significant global impact.

Nick Spurlin, a manufacturing supervisor on the HIMARS production line, is following in the footsteps of his father who worked at the facility for 30 years before him as a tooling inspector. His father passed onto him a passion for the mission and supporting those who serve. Nick came to Lockheed Martin as an operator who didn’t know much about HIMARS. Now a supervisor, he says it’s been a privilege to watch the HIMARS production line grow over the last few years.

Camden Operations

Sitting on nearly 2,500 acres of land, Camden Operations is a manufacturing, final assembly, and testing site for several Missiles and Fire Control capabilities including HIMARS, GMLRS, ATACMS and Integrated Air and Missiles Defense products such as PAC-3.

Located in the Highland Industrial Park, the facility employs approximately 1,000 highly-skilled people who are ready to meet the increased demand. The headcount has already increased by 73 percent over the past five years, and the facility will utilize overtime when needed to accelerate production.

Camden Operations also implemented a manufacturing apprentice program in 2020 to fully equip new hires with the skillsets needed across the site. Through an educational partnership with Southern Arkansas University Tech, Lockheed Martin’s CMAP (Camden Manufacturing Apprentice Program) provides individuals in the Camden community access to multiple career pathways. This standardized training base provides the ability to cross-train within certain production areas and between programs as needed, creating flexibility for production operations. 

Camden Operations

Additional investments are being made to scale production at the facility. These include maximizing space within the factory footprint and increasing tooling. Lockheed Martin is also digitally transforming and implementing digital engineering and production practices to enhance speed, agility, and insights. With the recent launch of 1LMX, we are re-engineering our internal processes by providing the automation and capabilities needed to drive efficiency.

On Camden’s PAC-3 production line, assembly robots have allowed for significant increases in throughput while safeguarding operator safety and product compliance. This modification has increased efficiency in performing manual installations. 

About 500 miles away in Troy, Ala., Linda Griffin is an assembler on the Javelin production line with immense pride. Linda Griffin took the spotlight when President Joe Biden visited Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations in May 2022 to thank employees working on the Javelin production line. Her prideful shout of “50,000!” quickly made headlines as she shared the astonishing number of Javelin missiles on which she personally has worked.

A native of Brundidge, Ala., Griffin has lived in the local area surrounding Pike County Operations her entire life. She has worked at Lockheed Martin for more than 25 years and is part of one of the most critical aspects of the Javelin assembly process.

President Biden

Lockheed Martin’s Pike County Operations is home to more than 600 employees who support the final assembly of several missiles, including Javelin. Since it was first established in 1994, the facility has produced approximately 190,000 missiles. The site has been in a constant state of growth over the last couple of years with its overall building footprint nearly doubling.

To keep up with continued demand, the facility, just southeast of Montgomery, invests in attracting and developing diverse talent. Due to its proximity, Lockheed Martin naturally attracts applicants from Troy University. Additionally, many of our engineering roles are filled from Auburn University, where we’ve sent alumni to recruit employees.

For more than 60 years, Lockheed Martin’s Alabama facilities have supported some of our nation’s most important missions across all domains. Lockheed Martin has brought nearly 3,000 jobs to Alabama, with an economic impact of more than $900 million since its inception. Lockheed Martin flows more than $2 billion to 296 suppliers and has given nearly $400,000 in charitable donations to local charities.

The Urgent Need to Deter and Defend

Just like our facilities and the people who power them, our defense systems have stories and missions of their own. As demand increases for tailored solutions both domestically and internationally, we’re ramping up production on these vital capabilities that are currently defending freedom and bolstering deterrence around the globe:

HIMARS is a highly reliable, combat-proven system that has exceeded all performance requirements. There are more than 540 fielded systems worldwide in service with the U.S. military and partners. The system has a proven range up to 300 kilometers and delivers affordable, quick, long-range precision strikes.

Late last year, the U.S. Army awarded contracts to increase capacity that will allow the U.S. government to replenish Department of Defense (DoD) stocks and support U.S. allies and partners.

Production capacity started at 48 units per year, but as demand increased, we were able to quickly ramp up to 60 per year. We’re on track to meet the 96 units per year capacity by 2024, as requested by the U.S. Army in a Request for Information (RFI) last summer.

We've also worked closely with our supply chain to plan for increased production, and  advanced about $65 million in funding to ramp even more rapidly by shortening manufacturing lead time.

Quick advancements in technology have increased the speed of defense. When every second counts, our customers must make decisions faster. They need versatile, flexible options in their arsenal for security and deterrence. Having the capability to strike from farther distances has become more crucial than ever before — that’s where GMLRS comes in.

GMLRS is the primary round for the combat-proven MLRS family of launchers (HIMARS and M270). In October and November of 2022, the U.S. Army awarded multiple contract options worth $520.8 million for GMLRS in order to replenish DoD inventory to Ukraine. (*FY23 production award $476M and advance procurement.) This followed a $918 million FY22 production award last March to produce GMLRS. We are currently tooled to a 10,000 per year production capacity, and we’ve produced more than 60,000 rounds. Lockheed Martin is conducting analysis to potentially take that up to 12,000-14,000 rockets a year.

In an ever-evolving threat environment, Javelin’s unique capabilities make a difference on the battlefield for users around the globe. With more than 20 years of proven performance, Javelin is a versatile, shoulder-fired and platform-employed antitank missile system that offers fire-and-forget capability over its full range – up to four kilometers under most operational conditions. Developed and produced by the Javelin Joint Venture, a partnership of Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin, Javelin is in service with the U.S. military, as well as with more than 20 allied countries.

Our customers rely on Javelin’s proven capabilities to deter and defend against threats worldwide. To meet increased demand, we are working with our U.S. Army customer to nearly double our current Javelin production capacity from 2,100 per year to nearly 4,000 per year. Several large investment projects will go toward upgrading equipment and tooling to increase rate, improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce production down time. Additional staff are also being hired to the Javelin production line, as well as up and down the supply chain to help reach the new maximum output rate. This production ramp-up capacity is expected to be reached by 2026.

With more than 50,000 Javelin deliveries, the system is anticipated to be in the U.S. military’s operational inventory through 2050. To evolve with customer needs, Javelin has planned upgrades to retain overmatch and support emerging operational needs. The latest Javelin variant, the F-Model, is currently in full-rate production and boosts increased lethality and commonality across its userbase.


As the world’s most advanced air defense missile, the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) defends against emerging advanced threats around the world by using direct body-to-body contact that eliminates targets and keeps critical assets safe. Building on the combat-proven PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI), the PAC-3 MSE expands the lethal battlespace with a two-pulse solid rocket motor, providing increased performance in altitude and range. PAC-3 MSE’s advanced capabilities and proven integration capabilities allow its users to maximize flexibility, advance command and control at machine speeds and support real-time decision making for the user by demonstrating those capabilities across multiple domains.

To meet the strong demand signal from customers around the globe, we’re ramping up production to 550 PAC-3 MSEs per year, up from 500. This effort allows Lockheed Martin to build on the interceptor’s superior legacy and remain committed to delivering innovative productions and solutions for our country and allies.

In November 2022, we opened a new 85,000-square-foot building expansion at Camden Operations to support increased PAC-3 MSE production capacity. The building – the All Up Round (AUR) III – uses cutting-edge technology and processes to support the All Up Round process. This state-of-the-art facility is another example of how we are investing in transformation to get our products into the hands of our customers at faster speeds, so they can continue to deter and defend against advanced threats worldwide.

Ahead of Ready: Solutions for the Future

Ramping production to meet the critical needs of our customers is not where our support ends. We are continuing to transform the defense industry and how we do business, accelerating innovation and evolving how we see and solve complex challenges.

Military officials have shared that the U.S. Army is offering combat training to nearly 500 Ukrainian soldiers from mid-January through February at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The training exercise is supported by the Lockheed Martin team as the Army’s contractor for the Army Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations Maintenance Program (ATMP), which provides full lifecycle management and sustainment of its training operations. Our Lockheed Martin team supports training for the 7th Army Training Command in Europe and is focused on serving the Army’s mission readiness goals as well as supporting European allies and partners.

Lockheed Martin also continues to invest in digital transformation to make our facilities, processes and world-class team members even more advanced and efficient. The drive to shift our business into a new digital era begins with the talented people behind the strategy and technology of the work we do.

Whether it's delivering integrated solutions at an accelerated pace or advancing the boundaries of science, Lockheed Martin’s missions – and those of our customers- are some of the most important in the world.