Ribbon cutting in OKC for drone maker’s plant

Governor Mary Fallin on Friday joined state and community leaders and executives from Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., at a ribbon cutting for the company’s new 100,000-square-foot unmanned aircraft production facility in the Will Rogers Business Park in Oklahoma City.

Kratos is a leading provider of high performance, jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems (UAS) for tactical and target threat representation purposes.

“We are excited to have Kratos start operations here in Oklahoma City,” said Fallin. “The company is an excellent addition to our state’s prominent aerospace industry, and will help this industry continue to advance. During my time as governor, we have worked to bring quality companies like Kratos to Oklahoma, adding new job opportunities for Oklahomans and continuing to diversify our economy. I would like to thank Kratos for choosing Oklahoma and bringing exciting job opportunities to Oklahomans.”

Kratos is opening the new facility to accommodate existing and expected increased demand for its newest line of high performance, jet powered unmanned aerial tactical and target drone systems.  Kratos has selected Oklahoma City to be the production facility home for its Tactical UAS and Firejet (MQM-178) unmanned aerial target system, and  plans to hire at least 350 employees in Oklahoma over the next five years to fill the high-skilled engineering, design, and manufacturing functions that will be needed to support the production contracts for these aircraft.

Kratos is the recognized industry leader in high-performance, low-cost jet aerial target systems that support the U.S. military and foreign ally military customers/users, with its primary customers including the United States Air Force, Navy, and Army.  In addition, Kratos is currently under contract on multiple high performance jet-powered tactical unmanned aerial drone systems.  Kratos is an industry leader in the rapid development, demonstration, and fielding of technology leading systems and products for National Security at an affordable cost.

“Kratos chose Oklahoma, with strong encouragement from its Congressional Delegation,” said Eric DeMarco, president and chief executive officer of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions. “The people of Oklahoma represent a highly patriotic, educated, and motivated workforce with the technical skills that will contribute to building the affordable but technology leading weapon systems needed for tomorrow’s world. We could not be happier to be joining this cost-effective business environment and family-friendly community.”

“Kratos—welcome to Oklahoma,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. “As a community with a highly skilled workforce and a visceral commitment to the men and women in uniform, I am confident that you could not have chosen a better location to expand as you continue to be a pioneer in drone technology for our military. I look forward to seeing how this facility will benefit our economy and our armed forces now and in the future.”

“Kratos is a company that’s always innovating and producing cutting-edge technology for our military,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Russell. “Their vision and expertise in unmanned aerial systems will allow our warriors to have the most effective tools they need to keep our country safe. I am glad Kratos recognizes the value of Oklahoma and the Fifth District. We are fortunate and honored to be the site of their latest expansion, which will undoubtedly have a significant and positive impact on helping our military protect our national security.”

Steve Fendley, president of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said: “We have been fortunate to be on a substantial growth trajectory with respect to our legacy unmanned aerial targets business and also now in our Tactical/Strike UAS business.  This Oklahoma expansion accommodates our existing need to augment our California production capacity based on backlog orders today; but more importantly enables us to meet our expected increasing production quantity and aircraft type requirements which are expected to ramp significantly each year for the foreseeable future.  Our range of unmanned jet aircraft now range from about 10 feet to 30 feet in length with wingspans up to about 27 feet.  Our facility selection and production layout will facilitate multiple simultaneous production lines building each of our different aircraft models, and it enables us to readily vary the production rate between models in the same facility.  Oklahoma, and specifically Oklahoma City with its proximity to Tinker Air Force Base and other aerospace primes and suppliers is the ideal home for our expanding UAS production and development work.”

The Oklahoma facility is the latest in a series of expansions announced by Kratos in recent months, including significantly expanded facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for its space communications products, and doubling of its manufacturing capacity for training and simulation systems in Orlando, Florida. This is in addition to opening offices in several cities outside the U.S. to capitalize on increasing global demand for the company’s advanced technologies, including in Saudi Arabia, Australia and Singapore.

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States national security-related customers, allies and commercial enterprises.  Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training and combat systems. For more information go to www.KratosDefense.com.