A year after breaking ground, BAE Systems last week celebrated the opening of a new design and prototyping center in Sterling Heights.

As part of a five-year, $58.4 million initiative, the center is the first structure to open at the company’s new Sterling Heights campus which, upon completion late next year, will include a renovated test track and a four-story office building. The campus will eventually house approximately 600 employees.

“One of our most important company values is customer focus,” said Joe McCarthy, vice president and general manager of Heavy Brigade Combat Team Systems at BAE Systems and Sterling Heights site executive. “This center will allow us to be in close proximity to our customer — a key component in further developing an ongoing, collaborative working relationship that supports the design, development and manufacture of equipment that will help ensure the safety and mission success of warfighters. With this center we can address future vehicle modernization by rapidly integrating capabilities into combat systems while improving time-to-market factors, while also reducing costs for our customer.”

Supported by 40 employees, the new center will house more than a dozen assembly bays for vehicle and subsystem modifications, integration and testing in addition to a host of integral supporting labs and facilities that will provide electrical assembly fabrication, software development and system integration of vehicle control and crew station electronics. The site will also have a full-service machine shop equipped with welding capabilities.

The center will also support other company programs including Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Bradley derivatives, M88, M113 family of vehicles, M109 family of vehicles including the Paladin Integrated Management vehicle, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, Medium Mine Protected Vehicle and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

When completed, the site will total 198,000 square feet on 81 acres.

England-based BAE is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.

In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

More at www.baesystems.com.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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