- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

SHANNON, Miss. (AP) - General Atomics is relocating some product lines from its Electromagnetic Systems Group to Shannon, Miss.

The company and Gov. Phil Bryant made the announcement Monday in Shannon. General Atomics said it will invest $11 million and create 80 new jobs.

The relocated product lines provide equipment and services to the defense, nuclear, oil and energy storage industries. They will locate in a vacant building in the Tupelo/Lee Industrial Park South. The 87,650-square-foot facility joins GA’s existing campus.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided $620,000 to renovate the former Heritage Bag plant and $300,000 for the extension of a roadway. The Community Development Foundation provided assistance for renovations, as well.

Last year, General Atomics announced it would invest $12 million to expand its existing building in Shannon, with plans to add 25 workers to the 65 it then employed. That facility makes and tests electromagnetic aircraft launch systems, which launches planes from aircraft carriers.

“There is significant upward potential in many of these products which we are adding to our manufacturing base in Mississippi,” General Atomics Senior Vice President Scott Forney said in a statement. “While we have much work to do to ensure a successful startup of all product lines, we also have the confidence to say that continued growth is expected.”

Once all the expansions are complete, General Atomics will have 150 employees in Lee County. The San Diego-based atomic and defense contractor has operated there since 2005.

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