MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Raytheon Co. announced plans Monday to build a missile production plant in Huntsville that will create 300 jobs in a city where Raytheon is already a major employer.
The agreement to build the plant at Redstone Arsenal was announced by company officials, Sen. Richard Shelby and Gov. Bob Riley at the Farnborough International Air Show in England.
Officials say groundbreaking is expected later this year for the 70,000-square-foot facility. It will provide final assembly and testing for the Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6. SM-6 production is expected to begin in 2010, and SM-3 production is expected to increase substantially in the next 10 years.
Raytheon, based in Waltham, Mass., said the average annual wage for the 300 jobs will be $60,000. The company already employs 600 people in the Huntsville area.
"This is a big win for Alabama, not only because of the high-paying jobs this project brings, but also because aerospace is such an important growth industry for the future," Riley said at the air show.
The jobs will be a boost for an area that has already lost about 300 jobs and is expecting to lose more because of NASA's cut to the Constellation program.
The trip to London for the air show was Riley's first trade mission overseas since the Gulf oil spill began in April. He recently had to cancel trips to India and China to stay home to deal with the spill.
The Raytheon agreement follows Friday's announcement that Hyundai Heavy Industries from Korea will locate its first American manufacturing plant in Montgomery. The plant will employ about 500 people producing large power transformers.