Boeing opens high-tech Huntsville defense lab expansion

Boeing cut the ribbon Monday on an expansion of its Huntsville electronics manufacturing center that builds key parts of missile defense systems like those America is providing Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The ceremony officially opened a 9,000-square-foot expansion of Boeing’s Electronics Center of Excellence. The center located near the Huntsville International Airport is where the company builds circuit boards for the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missile.

Boeing crews “worked over the holidays to deliver (parts for) P-3 seekers,” said Kay Sears, Boeing vice president and general manager of Space, Intelligence & Weapon Systems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

Boeing Huntsville leadership

Kay Sears, Boeing vice president and general manager of Space, Intelligence & Weapon Systems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Huntsville Jan. 23, 2023 for the official opening of an expansion to Boeing’s electronics production center.

Seekers are guidance systems that use infrared light beams to track and follow enemy missiles or airplanes. Seeker electronics produced in Huntsville are deployed with American troops in multiple locations around the world, and Boeing said the Huntsville center has produced “tens of thousands of circuit cards” for those systems.

Sears said the expansion is a sign of the expanding market for the electronics center’s products. That will lead to even more jobs, she said.

Specialized circuit boards developed and built at the center are also used in NASA’s Space Launch System, the International Space Station and the Minute Man Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Boeing leaders said.

“The work we do here matters,” said Robert Green, senior director of Boeing’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense portfolio.

Green said the seekers produced in Huntsville are a critical need of American troops and allies around the world. “Simply put,” he said, “the circuit card assembly done at the center helps keep our men and women in uniform safe from an array of threats in an increasingly complex world.”

Sears said the technology and processes developed at the center are unmatched. “Think automated inspection, some of our robotic soldering, really advanced state of the art manufacturing which will drive new jobs and allow us to keep up with demand,” Sears said. “Huntsville is such a great place for us to attract talent. Some of the technical schools are producing, really, the best and the brightest. It’s supported by the Legislature and it’s really a great place for us to invest.”

The company already employs about 3,000 employees in Huntsville, Sears said, and “We’re not done. We have a long-term strategy for Huntsville.”

Sears said Boeing is “recruiting and developing people right out of high school in some of the tech fields.” College graduates in software and mechanical engineering are also needed.

“And not everybody has to have a college degree to work at Boeing,” Sears said. “We have a whole bunch of tech specialists that could come and be part of our growing community.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: