FN America’s investment of $33 million to build a 100,000-sqaure-foot manufacturing facility in Pickens County, SC—announced late last month—is only one part of the company’s expansion in the Palmetto State. Last week the company also released plans to increase the size of its Columbia, SC, plant by 40,000 square feet, spending $18 million on the project. The latter construction is scheduled for completion the first half of next year, followed shortly thereafter by ground-breaking at the other site roughly two driving hours away.
For more than 40 years, FN’s United States production facility has been located in Richland County, near Columbia, SC, and U.S. Army base Fort Jackson. The plant has produced more than 1 million small arms under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company’s stateside operation was originally established in 1979 and opened its doors in 1981 to produce the M240 medium machine gun, a variant of the FN MAG-58, under contract to the U.S. Army.
The additional space in Columbia will be used to increase manufacturing capacity, as well as create a Design Center of Excellence geared toward enhancing the company’s research and development for new products. The expansion will add 102 new positions to the company’s existing workforce and will allow the company to meet demand for FN products. The Pickens County plant, when complete in 2025, will bring 176 new jobs to that area.
“The record growth that our company has had these last several years has enabled us to invest in our South Carolina manufacturing footprint with our soon-to-be new facility in Liberty and now the expansion of our Columbia facility,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO of FN America. “We were established in Richland County more than 40 years ago to manufacture small arms for the U.S. Army, and we are proud to expand our capacity to support that sector of our business.”
Currently, FN America employs more than 600 individuals to produce firearms, accessories and other adjacent products for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies as well as consumers.