Aircraft Production Returns to OklahomaPublished: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 By: Gary Daughters Source: Site Selection
When California-based Kratos Defense and Security Solutions announced plans for a major expansion in Oklahoma City, the head of the company's drone division was clear on why it had chosen Oklahoma.
"All of the pieces in Oklahoma fit what we were looking for," said Steve Fendley, president of Kratos' unmanned systems division. "We wanted a state that is supportive of the business we're in, supportive of the military, supportive of advancements in our capability testing, has a close proximity to military bases and has the potential for a flight test facility."
Kratos specializes in jet-powered unmanned systems, satellite communications, cybersecurity and warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense and training and combat systems. Oklahoma City will be the site for new tactical drone production. The company's target drones fly against DOD defense systems, such as the Aegis combat system, and simulate incoming missiles and aircraft. A $93-million contract to supply target drones to the Army, the company says, makes Kratos the sole supplier of jet-powered, sub-scale target drones to all branches of the U.S. military. Kratos' unmanned target drones recently participated in Exercise Formidable Shield 2017, a live-fire integrated air and missile defense exercise conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO on behalf of the US 6th Fleet.
"Advanced military target drones with fighter-like performance," says Fendley, "have been the mainstay of our company, and we have come to dominate that market as our customers are replacing their drone fleets with the latest technology. As a result, orders have increased substantially.