Saab expands in the US – opens new production facility
The Swedish company held a grand opening of its new facility located in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 13, 2021. This purpose-built facility represents a major step in both Saab’s global expansion strategy and growth and investment in the US.
Saab announced already back in May 2019 that West Lafayette would be the location for its expansion in the US aerospace sector and construction of the facility began in 2020. It has been completed on-time and on-budget and will start by being the site for domestic production of Saab’s aft airframe section for the T-7A Red Hawk trainer program. It will also support research and development in autonomy, artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing, a press release reads. “This opening marks a historic moment for Saab. This high-tech facility and its growing workforce are a result of Saab’s continued investment in the United States. Just as the T-7A Red Hawk will train the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots, we look forward to welcoming and training the next generation of aerospace engineers and other skilled employees,” says President and Group CEO of Saab Micael Johansson. By 2027, Saab says that it expects to hire up to 300 employees for this facility, including assemblers, engineers, system administrators, and more. The West Lafayette facility will also work collaboratively with Purdue on research and development in sensor systems, artificial intelligence and more. Saab plans to export products and technology from this facility. “We are thrilled by the internship and employment opportunities this relationship will bring to Purdue University students and alumni,” adds Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University. “This new facility is our seventh U.S. location - as Saab, Inc., we’re proud to be an American-run company selling American-made products,” said Erik Smith, President and CEO of Saab, Inc. “With our deep understanding of the mission of the U.S. military and a culture that drives us to work swiftly, efficiently and collaboratively with customers, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead to help keep Americans safe at home and abroad.” The T-7A Red Hawk is a new, advanced pilot training system designed and manufactured through a Saab-Boeing partnership for the U.S. Air Force to train the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots. Saab’s site in West Lafayette will build an aft section with installed subsystems that extends from behind the cockpit to the end of the aircraft, and supply them to Boeing’s final assembly line in St. Louis for joining with the front section, wings, fins and tail.