Boeing to build Navy aircraft at MidAmerica, invest $200M

Boeing to build Navy aircraft at MidAmerica, invest $200M

SeattlePI.com

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing Co. will invest $200 million to begin manufacturing the U.S. Navy's latest unmanned aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in a project that could add more than 150 jobs on the company's southwest Illinois campus, according to an announcement scheduled for Friday.

Boeing plans to build the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy's first carrier-based unmanned aircraft in a state-of-the-art plant of about 291,000 square feet (27,034 square meters), according to a news release provided in advance to The Associated Press.

State and company officials have planned a Friday afternoon news conference to announce the plan at MidAmerica in Mascoutah, about 29 miles (47 kilometers) southeast of St. Louis.

“That the world's largest aerospace company would double-down on Illinois is a testament to our unparalleled assets in the transportation and logistics sector and the world-class talent of our people," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a prepared statement.

He added that $57 million in state money is set aside for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport improvements, nearly half of which will bolster the Boeing project.

According to Boeing, the MQ-25 Stingray, developed from a 2018 contract with the Navy, is a refueling aircraft that greatly extends the combat range of existing refueling aircraft and is designed for “seamless integration” on the flight decks of Navy carrier ships.

Boeing is receiving breaks on its state income tax liability in exchange for the $200 million investment over 15 years and the addition of 150 jobs to the 70 Boeing already employs at its Boeing-St. Clair site at MidAmerica. The deal is part of an EDGE economic-development agreement with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

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