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Raytheon breaks ground on $50M expansion in Forest

Photo courtesy of RTX/website

Raytheon broke ground on a 17,000-square-foot expansion of its Consolidated Manufacturing Center located in Forest on Friday, with the $50 million corporate investment set to create 100 high-skill jobs over the next five years.

The RTX business will construct a new building on its Forest campus to serve as a hub for the production, testing, and integration of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods for the U.S. Navy and Australian government, as well as airborne radar programs.

NGJ-MB is an advanced electronic attack system that denies, disrupts, and degrades enemy technology, including communication tools and air defense systems.

Raytheon began Low-Rate Initial Production in Forest in 2021 and was awarded a third LRIP contract in 2023, enabling the team to begin delivering this critical capability for the U.S. Navy fleet and beyond.

“Our state is proud to help bolster our nation’s security and to be on the cutting edge of innovation in the aerospace and defense realms,” Governor Tate Reeves explained. “This $50 million investment and the 100 high-quality new jobs that it will create further solidifies that role and is tremendous news for Scott County and all of Mississippi.”

For 40 years, Raytheon has been part of the Forest community, with the investment marking the company’s third expansion in the area since 2013.

“Our Forest facility supports 20 major programs and runs three shifts per day to deliver the advanced technology our customers need,” Kim Ernzen, President of Naval Power at Raytheon, stated. “This latest expansion will help us ramp up production for a critical airborne electronic attack system to address advanced and emerging threats while protecting U.S. and coalition forces.”

RTX employs more than 1,000 people and spends over $253 million annually with Mississippi suppliers.

The Mississippi Development Authority and Scott County partnered with Raytheon to support building improvements and facility expansion needs for the project.

“Raytheon’s significant investment and creation of so many new jobs in Scott County will certainly have a positive, lasting impact on the local economy and central Mississippi as a whole,” MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp said. “Each one of these new jobs will generate an increased demand for goods and services locally and throughout the region; therefore, many individuals and businesses will benefit indirectly because of Raytheon’s decision to grow once again in Forest.”

Construction of the new facility will begin in October 2023 with completion expected by December 2026.

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