Last week, CivSource reported that Alabama Governor Bob Riley along with a group of state officials and business leaders were traveling to the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK to court a new aerospace facility. Today, Riley announced that a deal has been reached with Raytheon’s Missile Systems division for a new missile production facility on Redstone Arsenal. The Governor and Senator Richard Shelby made the announcement at the air show.
The new facility is expected to bring 300 jobs and expand Alabama’s growing aerospace and defense sector. Construction is expected to begin later this year, resulting in a 70,000 square foot space by 2012. Raytheon already has interests in Alabama, with a facility in Huntsville that employs nearly 600 people.
When completed, the new production plant will provide final assembly and testing for Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6. SM-3 production is expected to increase substantially in the next ten years and SM-6 production is expected to begin in 2010. The SM-3 is a key part of the Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system and the SM-6 is part of the Navy’s new weapons system.
“This new Raytheon factory means more jobs for Alabama and is a clear demonstration of Raytheon’s strong partnership with the state,” said Governor Riley. “This is a big win for Alabama, not only because of the high-paying jobs this project brings, but also because aerospace is such an important growth industry for the future. Raytheon and aerospace continue to be important pieces of Alabama’s economic picture.”