PORTSMOUTH - Revision Military held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Advanced Warfighter Equipment Development Center Monday morning at the Pease International Tradeport.
Revision Military CEO Jonathan Blanshay said the company plans to hire somewhere “in the neighborhood of 50 to 75 (new employees) in the first year” of the company’s operations in Portsmouth.
Construction on the new center, which will be located off Corporate Drive, is expected to be finished in about a year.
Blanshay stated after the ceremony that “there was probably a list of 10 factors” that convinced the company to choose New Hampshire to build its new facility, rather than anywhere else in the country.
“Certainly the employee base, the talent, ... the relationship with customers and academic institutions was a big part,” he said.
But he also pointed to the state’s tax rates, saying that “was very important” along with the tradeport’s proximity to both the U.S. Army Natick Soldier System Center in Natick, Mass., and colleges and engineering schools in the Greater Boston area.
Blanshay also stressed the “phenomenal” support the company received from state officials, including U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday morning.
He also credited former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who attended the ceremony, for her work on getting the company to New Hampshire.
“Over the last couple of years we’ve got a lot of help to do something that’s very difficult, to be a contractor with the US government,” Blanshay said. “It’s been a big reason why we came here.”
Revision develops and delivers purpose-built protective soldier equipment for military use worldwide.
The company, which began with eyewear, has expanded to face, head and torso protection as well as energy storage and power management products. The company continues to develop innovative capabilities for integrated, performance-enhancing soldier systems.
The Advanced Warfighting Equipment Development Center in Portsmouth will offer products that are going to be “more electronics based, advanced integrated soldier systems,” Blanshay said.
That will include things like communication systems” that are “next generation” products, he said.
“We’re also developing what we’re calling a warfighter lab so we’re going to have actual end-users be able to come here, try equipment on, run around, do a lot of drills, see what works and doesn’t work,” he said. “We’re expecting that to be the most advanced lab in the country.”
The facility on the 8-acre parcel will also feature “an armor prototyping and development facility,” according to a press release from the company.
Blanshay said during the ceremony that the facility “is going to house the most advanced solider systems capability in the world right here in New Hampshire.”
“I’m extremely excited about it, I’m looking forward to seeing that come to fruition and to making our home here in New Hampshire,” he said.
Shaheen stated during the ceremony that the Congressional delegation has been working “for a number of years” to “make sure we have the most advanced equipment available for our warfighters.”
″(It’s) so nice to see the technology innovation that Revision is going to bring to our warfighters,” Shaheen said Monday. “We all understand just how important this country’s national security is. Without that we couldn’t have the economic prosperity we all enjoy, we couldn’t have the freedom that we all enjoy.”
“That’s really the foundation for everything else that happens in America,” she added.
She credited Revision Military’s new center with the ability “to continue to innovate and make advances” to keep soldiers and law enforcement safer.
“It’s going to be great for our men and women who serve, it’s going to be great for New Hampshire and it’s going to be great for the country,” Shaheen said.
Hassan stated that Revision Military’s new facility “is going to play a critical role in supporting our brave law enforcement officers and service members.”
“Revision’s expansion will play an important role in bringing more good jobs to this region and strengthening our workforce,” Hassan said.
In addition, the new facility will increase the role “Portsmouth plays in particular in bolstering New Hampshire’s innovation economy,” Hassan said.
The center will become Revision’s seventh facility, joining three locations in Vermont, two in Canada, and one in the United Kingdom, according to the company.
The work done in New Hampshire will also grow and sustain business in Revision’s other facilities, especially the two advanced manufacturing facilities in Vermont (optics in Essex Junction and helmets/armor in Newport).
Construction of the 47,000 square foot facility, with room to expand an additional 55,000 square feet, is scheduled to begin this fall, the company said.