The Duncan Banner
BAE Systems, a leader in the development of military defense, security and aerospace systems, will be providing a boost to southwest Oklahoma’s economy as soon as the middle or end of 2013.
The company will then begin work on a low-rate initial production of the Paladin Integrated Management 155 millimeter self-propelled howitzer system in their facility located in Elgin in the Fort Sill Industrial Park.
“BAE’s plan to expand the Elgin facility will mean more jobs for the area as the Paladin Integrated Management Program (PIM) provides improved technology for our Army artillery personnel,” U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe said.
“I applaud BAE Systems’ ongoing and now growing commitment to locate the final assembly of the Army’s Paladin Integrated Management Program (PIM) weapon system at their Elgin facility,” U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said. “Oklahoma can be proud that in addition to being home to the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Ft. Sill, the region will continue to play an essential role in equipping our troops with essential fire support for the future.”
Lyle Roggow, President of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, said this can be seen as a benefit not only to the area but also for Duncan. The company’s work on this project may increase the need for work on machine parts, which is a specialty of many Duncan companies.
“There is always a need for machine part,” he said. “You can never rule out and say it is not going to help.”
The expansion could mean jobs for Duncan residents or a boost to Duncan’s housing market. The possibility of busier machining companies could mean more jobs with those companies.
“That also provides opportunity for putting food on the table for people in the community,” he said.
The Army plans to aquire 581 PIMs as early as December 2014. The expansion will be set in motion starting in July 2013.