In February 2009, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced it would begin manufacturing composite structures for next-generation commercial aircraft as well as composite aircraft engine components at its facility in Iuka, Mississippi. Composite materials are critically important in the production of next-generation aircraft because their strength and light weight deliver fuel efficiencies and operability unavailable using traditional metal manufacturing.
The expansion to accommodate these new operations, a $175 million investment by ATK, will result in the creation of more than 600 high-wage jobs over the next eight years while retaining the 176 jobs currently at the facility.
Expanding ATK's presence in Mississippi with its talented workforce, strong university system and pro-business environment is the right strategic move for our company, said Dan Murphy, chairman and CEO. In this partnership we harness a shared world-class expertise and experience in advanced composite engineering and manufacturing that will generate long-term, sustained, economic growth for both the state and our company.”
As a global leader in the defense and aerospace industries, with operations at more than 50 facilities in 21 states, Alliant Techsystems’ decision to locate these high-tech operations in Mississippi positions the state as an ideal location for companies in this sector.
Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, summed up the long-term impact of ATK’s expansion decision, “This announcement further confirms Mississippi is a prime location for companies involved in advanced material-making processes for the aerospace industry. ATK’s decision to locate these operations in Mississippi will provide a future for many of our college graduates in this field.”
The State of Mississippi has assisted ATK with this expansion by providing funding for building infrastructure improvements.