Three weeks following the announcement by the US military to deploy additional missile defense systems across the Middle East amidst soaring fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spill over into a regional war with Iran, Boeing Co. released a statement Monday that it has started to expand its missile factory in Huntsville, Alabama.
Let’s begin with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin’s comment on Oct. 22, where he said, “I have also activated the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery as well as additional Patriot battalions to locations throughout the region to increase force protection for US forces.”
The reason for additional THAAD and Patriot assets to be shipped to the Middle East is because US military bases are under attack. There have been at least 40 attacks on bases in Iraq and Syria since early October by Iran-aligned groups. As a result, at least 56 US personnel have been injured.
The need for more missiles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East has been a boon for Boeing and the military-industrial complex.
Boeing announced Monday that its Huntsville factory is currently being expanded by 35,000-square-foot to produce more Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) seekers, which will allow production to increase by 30% by 2027.
“The PAC-3 seeker is a critical air and missile defense capability, and this site expansion will allow us to significantly ramp up production to support the US military, allies and international partners who rely on it,” said Debbie Barnett, vice president of Strategic Missile & Defense Systems and Boeing Huntsville site leader.
Barnett continued, “Our proven seeker enables the life-saving precision accuracy of the Patriot system. I can’t overstate the importance of our team’s work in Huntsville and the mission we support.”
Boeing has plowed over $100 million in upgrades in Huntsville missile facilities over the years to support the Patriot program.