Saab, the global defense and security company, plans to establish a new advanced manufacturing and production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Sweden-based company will invest $37 million to locate and build an Indiana-based workforce in West Lafayette. Saab will construct and equip a facility to manufacture a significant portion of the T-X advanced pilot training aircraft, which will help train future U.S. Air Force pilots for generations to come. The U.S. Air Force selected the Boeing-Saab partnership in September 2018 for the T-X pilot training program and plans to purchase 351 jets in the first phase. In Indiana, Saab will produce major aero structures for the T-X, which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and manufactured by Boeing and Saab.
Located at the Purdue University-affiliated Discovery Park District Aerospace, the Saab facility will support production of the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation T-X jet trainer and is a fundamental part of the company’s strategy to grow its U.S. industrial and technology base. With this growth, the company will create up to 300 new jobs with hiring starting in 2020.
“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.”
Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2020 at the Discovery Park District to support the rapid T-X production rate demand of the program. Saab expects to begin hiring for assembly operators and airplane mechanics as well as for logistics, manufacturing engineering, administration and management roles in 2020. The company will also co-operate with Purdue University to expand Saab’s U.S.-based research and development within possible focus areas, such as sensor systems, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.
Subject to approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC will offer Saab up to $3.9 million in conditional tax credits and up to $1.15 million in training grants over two phases based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC will also offer up to $200,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is not eligible to receive incentives until jobs are created and qualified capital investment is made. Purdue Research Foundation, the city of West Lafayette, the city of Lafayette and Tippecanoe County all offered additional incentives.
“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.”