On October 19, FN America broke ground on what will be the site of the company’s second production facility in South Carolina. This plant, built upon FN’s solid foundation and history within the state, will be located within the Pickens County Commerce Park in Liberty, near Greenville, S.C.
“This was a historic day for FN. More than 40 years ago, FN opened operations in Columbia to fulfill a government contract for the U.S. Army,” said Mark Cherpes, president and CEO of FN America. “Since that day, FN’s business has grown tremendously, and we have forged unbreakable bonds within the state of South Carolina. Pickens County is a great ally to the manufacturing community and one we have had ties to for many years through our ongoing partnership with their Career and Technology Center’s Machine Tool students. That partnership has helped to develop our future workforce in the community and will be of great importance as we embark upon this expansion to better meet the needs of our customers.”
The company will invest $33 million to construct the future 100,000-sq.-ft. facility over two phases beginning in April 2024 and create 176 new jobs for the Pickens community. With state-of-the-art equipment and construction, FN’s second facility will expand the company’s manufacturing footprint and allow it to meet demand of its military, law enforcement and consumer markets.
FN America was established in the United States 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. For more than 40 years, the company’s primary production facility has been in Richland County, S.C.—which includes Columbia—and has produced more than 1 million small arms under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense.
“Our connection to FN goes back many years with the work-based learning partnership established with the students of our Career and Technology Center,” said Ray Farley, executive director for Alliance Pickens economic development. “We are delighted to welcome FN as a permanent fixture in our community with this future facility.”
FN America employs more than 600 staff members who produce firearms, accessories and related products for the U.S. military, law enforcement agencies and consumers. The company has manufactured the M4A1, M16A4, M249 light machine gun, M240 and FN SCAR under contract for the U.S. military, as well as its FN 509 striker-fired pistol line used by U.S. law-enforcement agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department.