CAMDEN EXPANSION: Artist’s concept of facility.

Lockheed Martin announced at the Paris Air Show today that would expand its defense factory in Camden, a $142 million investment that will add 326 jobs.

The plant produces the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and does final assembly for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Precision Fires products for military use.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission release said the expansion at the plant, which employs 700, will take several years.

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The expansion will support new construction and improve existing facilities for products like Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Army Tactical Missile System (ATacMS), Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and others, plus new machinery and equipment. Previously the facility was dedicated to High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) production only.

This announcement reflects the news earlier this spring that the Defense Department had substantially increased its order of the THAAD and other devices in part for sale to Saudi Arabia, a deal that has drawn criticism of the Trump administration. Trump approved the arms deal despite a bipartisan congressional resolution that the U.S. shouldn’t support Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

The governor and other Arkansas officials will participate in a news conference in Paris later today on the expansion. Lockheed Martin praised the efficiency and quality of work at the Camden facility in the morning’s announcement.

Lockheed will qualify for these state subsidies for the expansion:

ARKPLUS (INCOME TAX CREDIT)

ArkPlus is a state income tax credit program that provides tax credits of 10% of the total investment in a new location or expansion project. This discretionary incentive is offered in highly competitive situations.

ArkPlus requires both a minimum investment and a minimum payroll of new, full-time, permanent employees hired as a result of the project, depending on the tier in which the business locates. The business must reach the investment threshold for the tier in which it is located within four years from the date of the signing of the financial incentive agreement and the payroll threshold for the tier in which it is located within 24 months from the date of the signing of the financial incentive agreement.

The income tax credits may be used to offset 50% of the Arkansas income tax liability in the tax year the credit is earned. Any unused credits may be carried forward for nine years beyond the tax year in which the credit was first earned.

 

CREATE REBATE (CASH REBATE)

Incentives are negotiated and offered at the discretion of the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. [The Commission won’t reveal the specifics to the public.]

 

Create Rebate provides annual cash payments based on a company’s annual payroll for new, full-time, permanent employees. In order to qualify, the company must create a minimum of $2 million annually in new payroll. The minimum payroll must be met within 24 months of the effective date of the financial incentive agreement. No benefits may be claimed until the $2 million annual payroll threshold is met.

Create Rebate benefits are available after the business certifies to the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration that it has fulfilled the minimum payroll requirements and the reported payroll has been verified. The percentage of the benefit depends on the tier assignment of the county where the job creation occurs.