PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire — Pease Development Authority officials have been working on a deal to bring Revision Military to Pease International Tradeport for more than two years.
David Mullen, executive director of the PDA, said Revision Military’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters at Pease is another “big deal” for the tradeport.
Pease is located across the Maine-New Hampshire border, less than five miles — or about a 15-minute drive — from Kittery.
“It’s a good-sized, international company that’s choosing to want to make their corporate headquarters here at Pease,” Mullen said. “That’s a strong complement to what we have here.”
His comments came late Thursday after Gov. Chris Sununu announced earlier in the day that Revision Military was coming to Pease.
The company, which bills itself as a leader in military and tactical solutions and protective equipment, said the Portsmouth location will steer its product research and development and manufacturing of the company’s most advanced products.
“Revision’s expansion to New Hampshire deepens the company’s already well-founded commitment to U.S. based operations and manufacturing,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO of Revision Military. “Moreover, this future location represents a bold but necessary next step forward for the company — indicative of both Revision’s ever-widening vision for innovation in soldier systems and tactical solutions. It is also essential in order to effectively house the full breadth of the company’s growing capabilities.”
The company plans to locate its headquarters at an 8.7-acre property on Corporate Drive, Mullen said. He expects it will hire about 50 to 60 people to work in at the Portsmouth site, which will be about 90,000 to 100,000 square feet.
The PDA’s board of directors approved the deal with Revision Military about a year ago, Mullen said.
Revision Military’s decision to locate at Pease represents another victory for the tradeport, where 10,500 to 10,800 employees now work at about 250 companies, Mullen said.
Revision Military makes body armor, glasses and helmets for the military, Mullen said, adding it is a Canadian company located out of Montreal and already has a facility in Essex Junction, Vermont.
Asked what drew the company to Pease, Mullen said, “I think one of the things Pease represents is a very strong economic engine for the region. Success at Pease is shared by all the people who work here.” He noted companies like to go where things “are vibrant and economically successfully. … When you say ‘Pease,’ people know where you are.”
In his statement, Sununu said, “Revision Military was the first company I met with after being elected governor and today’s announcement is a testament to our pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.”
“Revision designs and manufactures state-of-the-art military hardware that keeps our troops safe, and we are proud they will call New Hampshire home,” he added.
Taylor Caswell, commissioner for the N.H. Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said the state’s “business climate and hyper-focus on economic development is paying dividends every day.”
“Precision manufacturers like Revision are expanding and coming here for our quality workforce, low taxes and business-friendly approach,” Caswell said.
Blanshay said Revision has evolved significantly over the last 17 years and its investment in Portsmouth makes its intentions clear.
“We expect to accelerate our growth and capabilities for the foreseeable future,” he said, “and in the coming months and years we will be looking to hire dozens of the very best engineers, technicians, manufacturing experts and program managers available in the area in order to further develop our vision and service our customers.”
Revision said it has already hired the first group of New Hampshire management-level employees and they will spearhead the development of new facilities, new capabilities and implement near-term strategy based on Revision’s current projects, contracts, and in-progress bids, according to the announcement. Chief Technology Officer Chris Palmer, who will oversee the team and report to Blanshay.
Revision said the Portsmouth location will improve access to its military customer base in Greater Boston and the Eastern Seaboard, and better position it to work with local academic institutions, such as the University of New Hampshire, and local partners and suppliers.
The announcement of the Portsmouth location comes just over two years after Revision, which has seven facilities, last opened a new facility in Bristol, United Kingdom.
The company said it employs more than 400 people. Its plans to expand to New Hampshire were reported as early as October 2016, though details were not announced.