There’s been a dearth of news on the XM8 program lately, so we’re left to scrounge the Georgia employment reports for any info:
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office announced Wednesday that the city is receiving $300,000 from the OneGeorgia Authority to help Sterling, Va.-based Heckler & Koch Defense open a plant in Columbus.
Nearly two years ago, H&K announced plans to construct a $20 million manufacturing facility in Muscogee Technology Park off Macon Road. The 100,000- to 150,000-square-foot plant would sit on 40 acres in the 1,500-acre park and employ more than 200 people.
The company, however, is still working to land a huge federal contract to make the XM8 assault rifle for the U.S. military. On Thursday, H&K said the $300,000 OneGeorgia grant will go toward the purchase of a 13,000-square-foot former Cessna facility in Columbus East Industrial Park. The company would not discuss how many jobs the smaller plant might create.
“This facility will serve as the warehouse, distribution, assembly and design center for HK Defense operations in North America,” H&K President Peter Simon said in a statement. “To accommodate the special logistical and security requirements of HK Defense, the building will need several modifications, which will be made by local firms from the Columbus, Ga., area. We continue to hold an option on the original factory site.”
Fryer said he anticipates working with H&K starting in July to begin hiring people to get the downsized plant operating. The pay range for some jobs will be $9 to $12 an hour, he said.
If anyone has any XM8 tips, send them to MO.