Saab Details Big Plans in Purdue's Discovery Park

Picture Courtesy: Saab Picture Courtesy: Saab

Sweden-based Saab has detailed plans to bring an advanced manufacturing and production facility to the Purdue University-affiliated Discovery Park District. The company says it will invest $37 million in the West Lafayette operation and create up to 300 jobs. Saab says the facility will manufacture training aircraft structures for a U.S. Air Force pilot training program. Construction is set to begin in 2020.

Saab executives joined Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels today to make the announcement. Daniels says the investment will bring "more cutting-edge research partnerships for our faculty, more high value employment and internship opportunities for our graduates and more jobs and economic vitality for our neighbors."

The Air Force last year selected a partnership involving Boeing and Saab for the T-X pilot training program. It plans to purchase more than 350 jets in the first phase. Saab will produce major aero structures for the program at the West Lafayette facility.

"This is a historic moment for Saab," said Saab Chief Executive Officer Håkan Buskhe in a release. "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."

Saab says it will begin hiring for positions including logistics assembly operators, airplane mechanics, engineers and management roles next year. The company also plans to work with Purdue on research and development in autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and more.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering Saab more than $5 million in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the company's job creation plans. The Purdue Research Foundation, Tippecanoe County and the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette have also offered incentives.

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