Saab Facility in Indiana to Support T-X, Other Programs

A Boeing-Saab team won the T-X contest last September with a bid nearly $10 billion below what the Air Force pegged as the value of the work. Boeing photo.

Saab of Sweden will build a new facility in West Lafayette, Ind., for production of “major structural sections” of the Air Force’s new T-X advanced trainer, as well as other items.

The company also will partner with Purdue University on research into sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.

The announcement was made at Purdue University Airport by Saab President and CEO Hakan Buskhe, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, and Purdue president and former governor Mitch Daniels.

The move will create some 300 jobs in the area; the specific site will be in the Purdue-affiliated Discovery Park district.

Construction is to begin in 2020, and Buskhe said by the end of that calendar year, production of T-X sections will be “up and running.”

Boeing won the T-X contract, with Saab as its principal partner, last fall.

Neither company has discussed what the workshare on the jet will be, or what elements Saab will be making, although it played a big role in the design of the jet.

Boeing has identified its St. Louis, Mo., facility as the location where it will perform final assembly of the T-X. Saab’s US headquarters is in Syracuse, N.Y. It has other facilities in Wilmington, N.C.; Ashburn, Va., and Orlando, Fla., making the Indiana site its fifth US operating location.

The company was not immediately able to say whether it will be making parts for its other aviation products, such as its regional airliners, at the Indiana site.