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The Associated Press April 30, 2010, 11:57AM ET

Ariz. lands Boeing unmanned helicopter production

Mesa's aerospace industry got a boost Thursday after Boeing Co. announced that production of its unmanned A160T Hummingbird helicopter has moved to Arizona.

The move to Falcon Field from Irvine, Calif., will bring about 40 jobs to Mesa.

Mayor Scott Smith called it "fantastic news" for the community and the region.

The Hummingbird is touted among the armed forces and defense industry for its capacity to accomplish a wide range of missions, from delivering cargo to surveillance, without putting troops in danger.

Boeing officials said the first Mesa Hummingbird is being built under a contract with the Naval Air Systems Command and should be delivered by the end of the year.

The Mesa plant also builds the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter.

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