Global defense and security company Saab has announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The new plant will manufacture a substantial portion of the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation T-X jet trainer. “This is a historic moment for Saab,” said President & CEO of Saab, Håkan Buskhe. “After careful consideration, we have chosen West Lafayette, thanks to the visionary leadership of both the state of Indiana and the world-leading Purdue University. Today’s announcement is a part of our growth strategy in the United States and deepens our relationship with the U.S. customer. We see great possibilities here for this facility and our partnerships.”
The facility will be located Discovery Park District Aerospace facility which is affiliated with Purdue University. Construction is scheduled to begin next year with the new facility adding over 300 new jobs to the region. New positions include assembly operators, airplane mechanics, logistics, manufacturing engineering, administration and management. The new facility will receive up to $3.9 million in tax credits if approved by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors and up to $1.15 million in training grants.
“Indiana has long been a national leader in manufacturing, and today’s announcement demonstrates the Hoosier state continues playing a key role in propelling the industry forward by attracting investment from around the globe,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “Saab’s decision to fuel its United States growth in West Lafayette is a testament to the state’s pro-growth business climate, strong aviation and defense sectors, and commitment to fostering innovation by collaborating with our renowned universities and businesses to solve 21st-century challenges.”
The U.S. Air Force made the decision to have Saab, working in partnership with Boeing, build major aero structures for the T-X trainer back in September 2018. The initial phase of the program includes the purchase of 351 of the all-new aircraft. Saab has said the decision to build the new jets in Indiana is part of their ongoing strategy to build a strong industrial and technology base in the United States.