MASCOUTAH, IL—Boeing will invest $200 million to build a 291,000-square-foot assembly plant here. The project is expected to create 300 jobs.

The new factory will assemble the MQ-25 Stingray, the U.S. Navy’s first carrier-based unmanned aircraft. The facility will include state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, including robotic automation and advanced assembly techniques, to improve product quality and employee ergonomics. The new facility is expected to be completed in early 2024, and aircraft production is projected to begin at the start of the 2024 fiscal year.

“The state-of-the-art technology we’re bringing to the Navy’s MQ-25 program is unprecedented,” says Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of autonomous systems with Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security division.

The new factory will be in addition to Boeing’s existing manufacturing operation in St. Clair county, which produces components for the CH-47 Chinook, F/A-18 Super Hornet and other defense products.