Boeing wins green light for new ‘secret’ factory in St. Louis

Advanced assembly line could house aircraft like the US Air Force’s sixth-generation fighter

On August 16, Boeing secured a crucial approval to execute a major development at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in Missouri, United States.

With an estimated cost of US$ 1.8 billion, the project seeks the acquisition of a land of about 160 acres, but what the company intends to do on the site is not yet clear.

St. Louis’s top tax agency unanimously endorsed the manufacturer’s plans to lease the land. For 17 years, Boeing will disburse at least US$ 2.6 million per year for the use of space, with the option to extend this agreement every five years until 2070.

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The project still needs to be approved by the council of councilors from the county.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the land will be allocated for the construction of an advanced Boeing factory to produce programs developed by Phantom Works, the company’s advanced design division.

MQ-28 and MQ-25 UAVs in St Louis (Boeing)

These programs could cover sixth-generation fighters, whose contract is scheduled to be awarded by the US Air Force in 2024. However, the company has not yet issued comments on the subject.

The St. Louis newspaper also pointed out that the lease agreement contains Boeing’s prerogative to end the agreement with the government before 2026, in the event of an unfavorable decision by the US Department of Defense.

This may be an indication that the manufacturer is working with the possibility of not being selected to conduct “franchise programs”.


In addition, Boeing is also in the process of seeking tax breaks from St. Louis County, an initiative that could save the company more than $155 million over 10 years.

The manufacturer announced that it plans to hire 500 new employees for the project, which in turn will impact the generation of more than 1,000 new jobs in other companies in the region.

Company executives have pointed to a revolution in the production of new aircraft, with the use of digital tools to accelerate development and reduce costs.

Boeing assemblies the F/A-18 Super Hornet in St Louis (Boeing)

Manufacturing will also undergo major transformations with the production of modular layout aircraft, capable of being updated quickly.

Boeing is one of the companies appointed to execute the NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) project, which could result in the first sixth-generation fighter in the USA. The program is also of interest to Lockheed Martin.

Another manufacturer in the country with extensive experience in combat aircraft, Northrop Grumman recently announced that it does not intend to participate in the development of the advanced aircraft as a prime bidder.


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