May 08, 2019

Indiana Delegation Welcomes Saab to West Lafayette

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and U.S. Representatives Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.-01), Jim Banks (R-Ind.-03), Jim Baird (R-Ind.-04), and André Carson (D-Ind.-07) today applauded the announcement that Swedish aerospace and defense manufacturer Saab will launch its new advanced manufacturing facility at Purdue University-affiliated Discovery Park District Aerospace in West Lafayette.

On January 23, 2019, members of the Indiana delegation led a letter to Saab urging the company to select Indiana for their new U.S. defense manufacturing facility which represents more than $37 million in planned Indiana investments in the coming years. The facility is expected to employ up to 300 Hoosiers in high-skilled manufacturing jobs beginning in 2020. 

Today’s announcement is a result of months of hard work and strong collaborations across the state led by Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger, the entire Indiana Economic Development Corporation team, Purdue University team, and officials of Tippecanoe County and the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette. Saab’s decision is a testament of Indiana’s strong manufacturing background, diverse defense supply chain, and highly skilled Hoosier workforce.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Saab to Indiana to manufacture this important defense asset,” said Senator Young. “Saab’s announcement is a testament to our state’s robust business environment and world-class workforce that enable companies of all sizes to succeed.”

“Indiana is known around the world as a hotbed for manufacturing investment and innovation.  Saab’s decision to build in West Lafayette means over 200 great new jobs for Hoosiers and one more reason Indiana is America’s manufacturing powerhouse,” said Senator Braun.

“I applaud the initiative of Governor Holcomb, Purdue University President Daniels, and the leaders of Saab for finalizing this outstanding development to create additional jobs and economic activity in our state. I am optimistic we will build on this momentum to continue to recognize how our state’s workforce and universities are an inherent asset to the security of our nation and our defense industrial base,” said Representative Visclosky.

“There is no better place in America to manufacture critical defense products than Indiana, and I welcome Saab to their new home.  Their arrival strengthens our already robust defense industry and I look forward to working with them to further our national security interests,” said Representative Banks.

“I’m excited to welcome Saab to Indiana, and especially to a great partnership in the 4th District,” said Representative Baird. “This facility launch will create hundreds of jobs for Hoosiers, bolster research and development, and undoubtedly encourage even more growth in our economy. The R&D relationship Saab will have in West Lafayette with Purdue is a remarkable asset and I look forward to supporting their collaborative innovation for many years to come.”

“When it comes to supporting our men and women in uniform, Indiana’s defense industry has a proven commitment to complete any mission with precision and efficiency. So it comes as no surprise that Saab is the latest company to invest in this Hoosier spirit. By manufacturing the T-X in Indiana, Saab will benefit from our world class workforce and research universities, furthering our state’s leadership in high-tech manufacturing. I’m eager to begin this partnership between Saab and Indiana that will help grow our state’s economy and make our country safer,” said Representative Carson.

Last year, a joint Boeing-Saab partnership was awarded a contract worth up to $9.2 billion dollar to manufacture the U.S. Air Force’s next generation T-X trainer jet. The U.S. Air Force plans to purchase approximately 351 T-X aircraft, though that number could increase to 475. Initial operational capability is expected by Fiscal Year 2024 when the U.S. Air Force will begin utilizing the aircraft to train the next generation of pilots. Saab will manufacture and assemble major aero structures of the T-X Trainer jet in West Lafayette, Indiana and deliver them to the prime contractor’s St. Louis assembly facility.