Technology

Drone maker plans expansion that could add Sacramento-area jobs

Sacramento drone maker Composite Engineering Inc. plans to add 119 jobs in the region over five years.
Sacramento drone maker Composite Engineering Inc. plans to add 119 jobs in the region over five years. Composite Engineering/Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc.

Riding a big new contract and a rosy outlook, a Sacramento company that makes target-practice military drones plans to add 119 jobs in the region over five years.

Composite Engineering Inc. was awarded a $679,000 income-tax credit by a state agency last week as an incentive to add the new jobs in Sacramento and Roseville. The tax credit, approved by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, kicks in only if Composite follows through on its jobs pledge.

The state agency OK’d the tax credit one day after Composite secured a $17.8 million contract with an unidentified international customer. Composite’s parent company, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. of San Diego, announced earlier this month that it expects its drone business to double over the next two years.

Founded 30 years ago, Composite was sold in 2012 to the San Diego company for $155 million. Last year Composite agreed to pay the Defense Department a $2 million settlement over allegations that it overcharged the government for spare parts.

State records show Composite employs 265 workers in the area. If the job additions pan out, employment will rise to 384 by 2020, with the bulk of the hiring taking place next year. The new jobs will pay an average of $70,000 a year.

A company spokeswoman was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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