Raytheon breaks ground on new radar facility

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Industry-leading defense contractor Raytheon broke ground on its new radar production facility in Forest last week. The project, announced in May, is a $100-million corporate investment, which will create dozens of jobs at Raytheon’s Forest campus over the next five years.

“Raytheon already produces some of the most sophisticated radar systems in the world for our nation’s military from right here in Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This new production facility will bolster their strong presence in the state, and we are proud to have them as a Mississippi business partner.”

 “Our new facility will serve as a hub for test, integration and production of s-band radars, including the U.S. Navy’s next-generation SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar program,” says Wes Kremer, President, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for site preparation and infrastructure improvements. Mississippi Works funds are also being made available to assist with workforce training. Scott County is providing assistance in the form of a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement.

“MDA congratulates Raytheon and its employees on this milestone. In the next couple of years, Mississippians in Forest will manufacture additional high-tech, innovative radar systems in support of the U.S. military — bolstering Mississippi’s position as a leader in the defense industry,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr.

Construction of the new facility is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers said Raytheon is one of the most valued employers in Scott County and Forest as they employ over 700 people. When construction of the new radar facility is complete it will create many new jobs for the local area and solidify Raytheon’s partnership with the workers in Forest.

“The workers at this location truly care about their jobs and take pride in what they do,” added U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. “They take pride in building something that helps protect our country.”

“The workers at the Forest facility are known to be committed to excellence and it is there commitment that has made this expansion possible,” Chambers said. “This expansion is great for Forest, the state of Mississippi and for our country’s national defense.”

Raytheon is already one of the largest defense manufacturing plants in the state. This expansion will keep it in close competition with other major manufacturers in the state. Raytheon is one of the oldest and largest defense contractors in the United States with about $24 billion in annual revenue and more than 63,000 employees nationwide.