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BAE Systems to break ground for Ardmore plant

BAE Systems is scheduled to break ground at 10 a.m. today on a $39 million manufacturing plant at the northwest corner of Airport Expressway and Ardmore Avenue.

The company’s plans for the new plant were confirmed late last year.

In addition to company officials, U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Mayor Tom Henry are scheduled to attend today’s groundbreaking.

BAE, a British defense contractor, employs about 1,100 at its 2000 Taylor St. location, which it leases from General Electric. The local operation is dedicated to aviation and electronics.

The manufacturer has consolidated production over the years, moving jobs to Fort Wayne from Texas in 2009 and 2012.

That helped increase the local workforce to its current level from about 760 in 2006.

No additional jobs are planned due to the expansion, company spokesman Jeffrey Benzing said in an email response Thursday.

BAE is expected to benefit from several tax breaks and incentives, locally and through the Indiana Economic Development Corp., tied to the new plant.

Initially, plans called for a 275,000-square-foot plant, but Benzing said the new facility will have 334,000 square feet. That’s slightly smaller than the current facility, which has 376,000 square feet, he said.