* Swedish defense contractor Saab is opening a new production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, that will be focused on building part of the Air Force's T-X pilot training aircraft.
Speaking at the 17th U.S.-Sweden Defense Industry Conference at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C., Micael Johansson, the company's deputy CEO and senior executive vice president, said the facility will be used for advanced manufacturing and testing of its aircraft parts. Following production, the parts will be sent to Boeing's St. Louis, Missouri, manufacturing site, he noted. Saab is building the rear fuselage of the T-X.
Boeing, the prime contractor for the program, was awarded a $9.2 billion contract for the T-X in September. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the trainer provides for 351 aircraft and 46 associated training devices in the first phase, according to a Defense Department announcement.
Building the site in Indiana will allow Saab to work with Purdue University--which is also located in West Lafayette--and expand its influence and research in the United States, Johansonn noted. The relationship with Purdue was one of the key aspects of the...