Saab opens new West Lafayette production facility in Indiana, US
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Saab opens new West Lafayette production facility in Indiana, US

14 Oct 2021 (Last Updated October 14th, 2021 11:39)

The Swedish firm is Boeing’s T-7A teammate and produces the aft section of the USAF’s new advanced trainer.

Saab opens new West Lafayette production facility in Indiana, US
The new factory will produce aft section of digitally built advanced T-7A Red Hawk jet. Credit: Saab.

Saab has opened its new purpose-built 100,000ft² production facility in West Lafayette, in the US state of Indiana.

The new facility is Saab’s seventh location in the US.

In May 2019, Saab unveiled plans to build the new advanced manufacturing and production site in Indiana as part of a strategy to grow its industrial and technology base in the country.

Saab noted that the facility’s construction, which started last year, was completed on-time and within budget.

The Boeing and Saab partnership is producing the US Air Force’s (USAF) T-7A Red Hawk trainer.

Designated eT-7A by the USAF, the Red Hawk training jet is fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems.

Saab is currently constructing the aft section at its Linköping factory in Sweden and then delivering it to the US.

The new West Lafayette facility will now serve as the domestic production site for building the aft airframe section of the advanced pilot training system.

It will build an aft section with installed subsystems such as hydraulics, fuel and secondary power system.

Boeing will join this aft with the front section, wings, fins, and then continue with tail assembly at its facility in St Louis, Missouri, US.

In addition, the new site will support research and development in autonomy, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced manufacturing.

Saab Group CEO and president Micael Johansson said: “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.

“As a trusted local partner, Saab is committed to investing in both our West Lafayette community and the research and development for a more sustainable world to keep people and society safe.”

Saab delivered T-7A’s first aft airframe section to Boeing in April this year while the second was handed over in July.

Earlier this month, Saab delivered the third aft airframe section to Boeing for the test programme of the T-7A Red advanced pilot training system.