Ala. lands second major facility in a week with Raytheon deal

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Raytheon Company's Missile Systems business plans to build an all-up-round Standard Missile production facility in Huntsville, bringing 300 jobs to the Rocket City.

Raytheon intends to construct the state-of-the-art integration center on the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal site.

Raytheon will use the facility for final assembly and testing of Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6. SM-3 production is expected to increase substantially in the next 10 years, and SM-6 production is expected to begin in 2010.

"Raytheon's SM-3 is the centerpiece of the nation's new missile defense strategy, and SM-6 will give the U.S. Navy a new, much-needed weapon system," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "Combining SM-3 and SM-6 manufacturing into one facility will enable Raytheon to increase productivity and efficiency. The company will leverage state-of-the-art automation to enhance quality and safety and deliver lower-cost products to the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy customers."

The 70,000-square-foot production facility will be constructed in two phases; each phase will be tied to SM-3 and SM-6 production contracts. Groundbreaking is expected later this year.

"This new Raytheon integration center means more jobs for Alabama and is a clear demonstration of Raytheon's strong partnership with the state," said Alabama Gov. Bob Riley. "Raytheon continues to be an important piece of Alabama's economic picture."

"Raytheon is one of the jewels of our community and is exactly the type of company we seek to attract and grow here in Huntsville," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. "It is a perfect fit for our city, our community and our state, with great defense jobs that offer high wages and opportunity for growth. Thanks in part to the strength of Redstone Arsenal, where this effort will be based, and our Cummings Research Park the second largest research park in the United States, Raytheon's expansion represents the way we want to see this sector develop."

SM-3 is being developed as part of the Missile Defense Agency's sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. The missiles are deployed on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers and Japanese destroyers to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the ascent and midcourse phases of flight.

SM-6 is an extended range anti-air warfare missile. Fired from navy ships, SM-6 provides over-the-horizon capabilities against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.

"The SM-3 is a vital component of our nation's missile defense strategy," said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. "I am proud of Alabama's continuing role in defending the U.S. and its allies."

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.

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