Saab opens Indiana plant building sections for Air Force jet

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Swedish manufacturer Saab has opened a new Indiana facility where it will build sections for a new U.S. Air Force training jet.

Company executives joined state officials and others for a ceremony this past week for the facility at Purdue University’s Discovery Park research and business district in West Lafayette.

Saab will use it to manufacture airframe sections for the T-7A Red Hawk trainer program. Saab is a top supplier to Boeing for the new jets, with its sections being sent to Boeing’s St. Louis assembly plant for joining with the front section, wings and tail.

Saab announced plans for the new $50 million facility in 2019.

The company said it now has about 60 people working at the plant. It expects that workforce to grow to about 300 employees by 2027, including assemblers, engineers and system administrators.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said Saab’s arrival was a boost for the city and the university.

“A great development like this begins to build on its own momentum as the success of one company convinces the next that it might be a good venue for them,” Daniels said.

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