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

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing Co. will invest $200 million to manufacture the U.S. Navy’s latest unmanned aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

A news release provided to The Associated Press in advance indicates that state and company officials plan a Friday afternoon announcement at the airfield in Mascoutah, southeast of St. Louis.

Boeing plans to manufacture the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first carrier-based unmanned aircraft. It will come out of a state-of-the art, 291,000-square-foot facility.

Construction is scheduled to start later this year and be completed by 2024. The operation will have about 150 employees. Employment at the facility could reach up to 300 with additional orders.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is applauding the decision by Boeing. He released a statement saying,

"The Metro East region plays an essential role in our defense manufacturing industry with Southern Illinoisans producing components for the CH-47 Chinook, the F/A-18 Super Hornet, and now the MQ-25 Stingray,” said Bost. “The men and women working in the defense industry bolster our national security by ensuring that our armed forces have the aircraft they need to accomplish their missions. Not only that, this new Boeing facility at MidAmerica Airport will also create new jobs, expand our aviation manufacturing base, and help solidify Illinois’ innovative and technological leadership for years to come.”

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