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IAI Inaugurates New Facility in Columbus, MS

Dépèche transmise le 16 novembre 2009 par Business Wire

IAI Inaugurates New Facility in Columbus, MS

IAI Inaugurates New Facility in Columbus, MS

COLUMBUS, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stark Aerospace held the grand opening celebration of its new facility in Columbus, MS, today. Stark Aerospace is a subsidiary of IAI North America, the U.S. subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). On hand to participate in the festivities were Mississippi congressmen Travis Childers and Gregg Harper. United States Senator Thad Cochran sent his congratulatory remarks via a video message and Senator Roger Wicker by a letter. Also speaking at the ceremony was Gray Swoope, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority. Yair Shamir, chairman of the board of IAI brought the ceremony to a strong close with remarks about his company's investment in Mississippi and its plans for growth.

"We established Stark Aerospace to advance IAI technologies, products, and systems to enhance the security of the United States," stated Shamir. "Our goal for Stark Aerospace is to become a leading regional aerospace and defense company benefiting its customers, community, owners, and employees."

Stark Aerospace was established in 2006 at Mississippi State University's Raspet Flight Lab in Starkville, MS, and a second division was added in 2007, in Columbus, MS. Today, the ribbon was cut on an 86,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. In addition, construction is already underway for a 20,000 square foot expansion expected to be completed in January 2010.

"With the construction of this new facility, Stark Aerospace is further demonstrating its commitment to doing business in Mississippi," said Governor Haley Barbour in a statement released for the occasion. "I commend the company for the additional jobs they are creating here in the Golden Triangle area and the contributions their operations are making to this community, the state, and to our nation’s defense."

The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) division is producing the Hunter MQ-5B for the U.S. Army. It has flown hundreds of thousands of hours in Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terror. Stark is currently expanding its UAS flight operations and facilities to meet increased demand in the American market. An example of this is the Heron MALE UAS. With a 550-pound multi-sensor payload ability, 30,000-foot altitude, over 40 hours endurance, and over 50,000 flight hours, the Heron UAS has superior reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

"I am extremely pleased to have a company like Stark Aerospace in Mississippi's First Congressional District," said Congressman Childers. "The new facility in Columbus will build on Stark's legacy of creating good-paying, high-tech jobs that we need here in North Mississippi. I am also proud to have supported funding for the Heron UAS. Projects like the Heron keep our nation at the forefront of cutting edge military technology, promoting economic development, and improving our national security."

The Electro-Optics division performs assembly of new TAMAM POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload) 300 series payloads and performs repairs on these units used on AAI Shadow UAS in Afghanistan and Iraq. These payloads are also used on law enforcement helicopters and for other surveillance needs.

Stark is broadening its capabilities through increased U.S. based engineering research support.

"I am extremely encouraged by the investment Israel Aerospace Industries has made and continues to make in the Starkville and Columbus area," noted Congressman Harper. "The Golden Triangle has truly positioned itself as an aerospace corridor in both the manned and unmanned aerial vehicle fields. The partnership between Stark Aerospace and Mississippi State University will ensure our warfighters are provided state-of-the-art equipment designed to detect and defeat."

About Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

IAI is Israel's largest industrial exporter and a globally recognized leader in defense and commercial markets. IAI provides unique and cost-effective technological solutions for a broad spectrum of needs in space, air, land, sea, and homeland defense.

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