OK: Kratos Defense to Produce New Drone Aircraft in Oklahoma City Facility
23 Apr, 2019
Oklahoma state and community leaders joined Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. executives in Oklahoma to unveil the first MQM-178 Firejet target drone aircraft produced at the new OKC Kratos Unmanned Aircraft production facility. At the event, Kratos Defense CEO, Eric DeMarco, announced that the Oklahoma City production facility will also be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie, which successfully completed its maiden flight in early March.
“Kratos and the state of Oklahoma share a commitment to supporting our armed forces,” said DeMarco. “As our company continues to grow and develop and build high-performance, low-cost technologies like the Firejet and the Valkyrie, we are proud to be doing so here. Oklahoma’s skilled workforce will help us keep America safe.”
Speaking at the event, Senator James Lankford welcomed the company to OKC and lauded the state’s growing aerospace sector.
“Oklahoma is a national leader in aerospace and technology and an excellent home for the production of the unmanned Valkyrie and Firejet,” he said. "We are grateful for Kratos’ commitment to our national defense, and we welcome another great employer to the state.”
Also speaking at the event, Rep. Kendra Horn pointed out the need for a qualified workforce to continue attracting companies like Kratos to Oklahoma City.
“High-tech innovations like the Firejet and the Valkyrie need a high-tech workforce,” she said. “Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District is the ideal home for Kratos’ expanding unmanned aerial systems production, and we are proud to partner with Kratos as the company continues to grow.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt also welcomed the company’s announcement.
“Oklahoma is proud to be home to a growing list of aerospace companies, who are continuing to bring high-skilled jobs to our highly patriotic and educated workforce. Kratos is a critical to our growth, and we are grateful that Kratos continues to invest in the Sooner State.”
In a press release, Sen. Jim Inhofe said “Oklahoma has a highly-skilled workforce and an unwavering commitment to our men and women in uniform—a perfect match for Kratos. As this industry-leading company continues to pioneer new drone technologies for our military in our backyard, Oklahomans welcome their growth and will continue to be a partner in their success.”
The other members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation also issued statements of support for the company and what today’s announcement means to the state.
“Oklahoma has a long legacy of aerospace innovation, and our highly skilled workforce stands ready to build upon this history with Kratos as one of our newest partners. Their technologies will undoubtedly have a significant, positive impact on both the security of our nation and the Oklahoma economy,” said Rep. Frank Lucas.
Rep. Tom Cole said, “Kratos is leading the industry in bringing high-tech value and affordability to national security. As home of the Firejet and now the Valkyrie, Oklahoma is proud to be a playing a role in the next generation of technologies that will keep our homeland and our warfighters safe.”
“Oklahoma has a proven workforce with the skills necessary to partner with a company like Kratos, which is leading the industry in the rapid development of cutting-edge national security technologies. We are thrilled to have them as an addition to our state’s prominent aerospace industry,” said Rep. MarkWayne Mullin.
Rep. Kevin Hern said, “Kratos’ innovations will be the future of safety for the warfighter and the nation; Oklahomans are proud to be building them. I look forward to seeing this facility continue to benefit our economy and our armed forces.”
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. is an industry leader in the rapid development, demonstration, and fielding of technology leading systems and products for National Security at an affordable cost. With primary customers including the United States Air Force, Navy, and Army, as well as foreign ally militaries, the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division opened this new production facility in November 2018 to accommodate the existing and increasing demand for its newest line of high performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial tactical systems. Additionally, Kratos is currently under contract on multiple high-performance unmanned aerial target systems.
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