Saab to build manufacturing facility in Indiana, US

10 May 2019 (Last Updated May 10th, 2019 10:40)

Saab has unveiled plans to build an advanced manufacturing and production site in the US state of Indiana as part of a strategy to grow its industrial and technology base in the country.

Saab to build manufacturing facility in Indiana, US
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb speaks during an event held to mark Saab’s announcement to open a facility in West Lafayette, Indiana. Credit: John Underwood / Purdue University.

Saab has unveiled plans to build an advanced manufacturing and production site in the US state of Indiana as part of a strategy to grow its industrial and technology base in the country.

With a proposed investment of $37m, the West Lafayette-based site is expected to generate up to 300 new jobs.

The facility, located at the Purdue University-affiliated Discovery Park District, will initially focus on supporting the production of the US Air Force’s next-generation T-X jet trainer.

The site will produce major structural sections and final assembly of the Saab parts of the T-X trainer. The T-X advanced jet trainer jet is developed by Boeing and Saab.

Saab noted that construction of the facility will start next year. The opening of the facility will expand the company’s presence in the US to a total of five states.

“Today’s announcement is a part of our growth strategy in the US and deepens our relationship with the US customer.”

Furthermore, the Swedish firm signed a pact with Purdue University. The agreement includes collaboration to expand Saab’s US-based research and development within possible areas such as sensor systems, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.

Saab president and CEO Håkan Buskhe said: “This is a historic moment for Saab. 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 US and deepens our relationship with the US customer. We see great possibilities here for this facility and our partnerships.”

The USAF plans to procure 351 jets in the first phase of the T-X pilot training programme. The aircraft is expected to achieve initial operating capability by the end of 2024, while full operational capability is projected for 2034.

Saab will recruit employees for the facility in various roles, including assembly operators, aircraft mechanics, logistics, and manufacturing engineering.