Saab to build new Air Force jet facility at Purdue University

SOURCE: Anukrati Omar/Unsplash
Saab has announced plans to bring a new Air Force jet manufacturing site to Purdue University.

By U2B Staff 

Read all stories

Global defence and security company Saab has announced plans to bring a new manufacturing and research site to Purdue University’s campus as part of its production of a new Air Force training jet.

Company officials announced Wednesday it would spend US$37 million on building and equipping the facility at Purdue’s Discovery Park District near the West Lafayette campus. The facility is expected to create up to 300 new jobs, with hiring to begin in 2020.

“The ecosystem consisting of both the university and the many companies that have clustered around it is something we definitely would like to be a part of,” Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe said of the innovation district.

The announcement was made inside a Purdue University Airport hangar on Wednesday and was attended by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, along with other state and local officials.

“Saab’s decision to fuel its United States growth in West Lafayette is a testament to the state’s pro-growth business climate, strong aviation and defence sectors, and commitment to fostering innovation by collaborating with our renowned universities and businesses to solve 21st century challenges,” Holcomb said.

The expansion is a fundamental part of the company’s strategy to grow its US industrial and technology base. Saab also will collaborate with Purdue University to expand Saab’s US-based research and development within possible areas such as sensor systems, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels expects the collaboration to produce strides in research and offer new employment opportunities for Purdue graduates and graduate students, while also attracting high-calibre workers to the area.

While Buskhe announced the “visionary leadership of both the state of Indiana and the world-leading Purdue University” as the reason for choosing the state, the deal also came with substantial financial incentives.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IDEC) will initially offer Saab almost US$4 million in conditional tax credits and up to US$1.15 million in training tax credits. Based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana, the IDEC will also offer up to US$200,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment programme.

“We look forward to years of collective success in generating capital and giving Americans jobs,” Buskhe said. “Saab is in West Lafayette to stay, and we look forward to being an integrated part of this ecosystem.”