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Lockheed Martin to Move Army Vehicle Production to Arkansas

Move surprised some as BAE plant in Houston to be shuttered.


In a press release dated Oct 15, Lockheed Martin announced it was moving production the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to an assembly line at the company’s Camden, AR, manufacturing complex. “Lockheed Martin is implementing a low-risk production plan that will take advantage of the proven, outstanding Camden manufacturing operation and help make our JLTV more affordable for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps,” said Scott Greene, vice president of Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in the Press release. The Press Release announced plans to close the Sealy, Texas where the JLTV prototypes were produced.

The Houston Chronicle (10/15, Sixel) reported that the total workforce reduction in Sealy amounts to 325. Most of the employees in Sealy will leave the company between November and the end of June 2014, according to the article.

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

According to reporting by Dow Jones Business News (10/15), the Sealy plant was operated by BAE Systems PLC. According to Dow Jones, “the planned closure in Sealy, west of Houston, marks the third U.S. facility to be shuttered by the U.K. defense contractor in little over a year, with BAE lobbying hard to keep open a far-larger armored vehicle operation in York, Pa., during a lull in Pentagon procurement.” According to Down Jones, BAE has already cut more than 1,000 jobs over the past year at the plant, which it acquired in 2007 with its purchase of Armor Holdings Inc.

Defense News (10/15l, McLeary) reported the announcement as a surprise, with serious implications for the U. S. Army’s ground vehicle industrial base. “We explored every possible option to maintain the viability of the facility, but the decline in US defense spending has made it necessary for us to continue rationalizing our business base,” said Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems Land & Armaments sector, in a statement, according to the article. “This was a difficult decision, but it in no way reflects upon the hard work and commitment of the employees. We will do all we can to assist them during this difficult transition.”

The article also predicted, “it is almost certain that some engineers who had worked for BAE at Sealy would come aboard at Lockheed and move to the Arkansas plant” operated by Lockheed.

Published Date : 11/4/2013

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