Gov. Susana Martinez announced the Local Economic Development Act funding today, including $850,000 from the state and $425,000 from Albuquerque, although the city council must give final approval. The money will boost Raytheon efforts to expand from its current 103,000-square-foot facility at the tech park into a second, 72,000-square-foot building there. It will hire about 60 more people in the process.
The Journal first reported on the company’s facility expansion in April. Officials say the state and Raytheon were negotiating the LEDA funding at that time.
“This is great news for New Mexico and another example of what’s possible when businesses know they’re welcome in our state,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement.
Mayor Richard Berry said the city is “thrilled.”
“I am pleased that they have been able to take advantage of our great workforce and through their strategic location at the Sandia Science and Technology Park they are able to take advantage of potential collaborations with the world’s finest scientists,” Berry said.
Raytheon’s K-Tech division specializes in designing and building directed energy systems, including laser-based technology, and high-powered electromagnetic, or microwave systems. The company has worked closely with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base on those technologies, including the military’s new Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, which the Air Force Lab and the Navy are now working to mount on aircraft.
Once operational, CHAMP could fly over buildings and installations to destroy electronics, computers and other systems using microwaves and no explosions, reducing collateral damage.
Raytheon has also developed its own ground-based “Phaser” microwave system to protect bases and installations from incoming enemy drones or missiles. If deployed, it would be manufactured by Raytheon K-Tech in Albuquerque, company executives told the Journal last spring.
Raytheon has already leased its new facility at the tech park and will be moving in next month, said Raytheon Missile Systems spokesman Lorenzo Cortes.
The LEDA funding will help pay for building improvement and construction costs and some lease abatement, according to the Economic Development Department.
Raytheon’s 180-employee team in Albuquerque could grow to about 240 over several years, Cortes said. The company also employs about 350 people on the Navajo Nation, where it makes electromechanical assemblies and other products for missiles.
“This workforce expansion enables Raytheon to develop some of the most advanced technologies and capabilities that keep our warfighters and our nation ahead of the threat,” Raytheon Missile Systems President Taylor W. Lawrence said in a statement.
The governor met with Raytheon executives in Boston last year to discuss the company’s role in building a directed-energy industry cluster in Albuquerque, said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel.
“There are a lot of opportunities to build that cluster in collaboration with the Air Force lab,” Geisel told the Journal. “A lot of cutting-edge technology is being developed behind the gate in cooperation with companies like Raytheon outside the gate.”