Progress is flying on the new Raytheon facility on Redstone Arsenal. The Rocket City's newest missile producer broke ground for Standard Missile Production Facility back in September. Just six months later, it's on schedule, on budget and more than halfway completed with a ribbon-cutting expected in August. All this progress, despite the need to get the land on the Arsenal up to code.
"We have regained formally unusable property and put it to a usable purpose for the defense and protection of our country," said Weapons Integration Center Director Randy Stevenson.
The 73,000 square-foot factory will provide final assembly and testing of two missiles, the SM-3 and the SM-6. The SM-3 is the Navy's ship-based air missile, while the SM-6 is an extended range active missile.
Throughout the assembly process, the missiles will leave the main facility ten different times and travel to one of three different test sites. Missile delivery is expected by January of 2013.
The 75-million dollar facility will also provide the Rocket City with 300 new job opportunities for the area's engineers.
"We'll also have missile technicians that we'll train," said Stevenson. "We'll hire from the community and train those through the Alabama Industrial Development Training Organization."
For Raytheon, making Huntsville its new headquarters was an obvious choice.
"The concentration of technical support capabilities in this region is second to none in this country," said Stevenson.
Phase One of the facility is expected to be open for business by August. Phase Two won't be complete until 2013, but the site also includes the potential for expansion.