Raytheon Set to Increase Radar Manufacturing Capacity

The defense contractor announced plans last week to add a building dedicated to radar production to its Forest, Miss., location.

Photo courtesy of Manufacturing.net.

Photo courtesy of Manufacturing.net.

Raytheon Company’s Consolidated Manufacturing Center in Forest, Miss. today employs over 800 people. That number is set to spike over the next five years, as the organization has announced plans to begin work on a new facility dedicated to radar production. Once completed, the building will serve primarily as a center for the development and production of s-band radars, such as those used in the U.S. Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) program.

An overview of the radar technology powering the Navy’s AMDR initiative. (Video courtesy of Raytheon.)

Deep Roots in Mississippi

Raytheon’s Forest facility has been in business for over 30 years, and the organization has had a major impact on the local economy. The state clearly values the company’s presence and made a strong pitch to help bring the project to Forest. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant approved an incentive package consisting of a $3 million grant to help with the new site’s preparation and an additional $1 million allocated to workforce training. “Raytheon recognizes the value of continued investment in the state of Mississippi,” Bryant said. “Together, along with Raytheon’s outstanding employees, we will continue supporting the U.S. military and strengthening our national defense through the innovative, high-tech radar systems developed in east Mississippi.”

Investment Outlook

Officials from Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems division indicate that they plan to invest around $100 million in the project over its lifetime. Work is set to begin in August of this year on the 50,000-square-foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)–certified facility. The expansion will bring some 50 highly skilled jobs to the Forest, Miss., campus in the short term, with the potential for growth beyond that figure in the years to come.

The Forest expansion is the latest in a string of large projects Raytheon has undertaken to increase its production capacity in various divisions over the last five years. In addition to a separate Forest site completed in 2015, sites in Albuquerque, N. Mex., and Tucson, Ariz., each underwent large expansions in the past two years. The company also opened a 70,000-square-foot factory in Huntsville, Ala., in early 2013. The new Mississippi building should open its doors by the first quarter of 2020.