Spy drones soaring
A Simi Valley plant with a new multi-million-dollar government contract is becoming a launch pad for engineers, technicians and other workers as it revs up production of spy planes.
AeroVironment, a maker of drones used by the U.S. military, won a $200 million contract this month to provide another one of its aircraft to the U.S. Special Operations Command. The bulk of the work will be conducted in Simi Valley, where most of the Monrovia-based company’s 540 employees are on the job.
The contract is for at least one year but calls for an “indefinite quantity” of planes that could be produced over five years, said company spokesman Steve Gitlin.
“Right now we make up to 300 [different unmanned planes] a month,” Gitlin said. “We can triple that.”