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Maker of military body armor, auto parts to expand, add jobs in Wichita

Leading Technology Composites plans to add 143,000 square feet to its plant on South Custer, near Pawnee and Meridian.
Leading Technology Composites plans to add 143,000 square feet to its plant on South Custer, near Pawnee and Meridian. The Wichita Eagle

Leading Technology Composites plans a more than $8 million expansion and the addition of 33 jobs.

That's according to documents filed with the Wichita City Council, which on Tuesday approved a property tax abatement for the expansion and additional jobs.

The company manufactures body armor plates for the U.S. military, assemblies for aerospace manufacturers and safety products for auto manufacturers. It employs 312 people in three facilities at 2700 S. Custer, 2045 S. Edwards and 2626 W. May.

Some of key customers include BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Bombardier and Ford.

According to city documents, 95 percent of its products are shipped outside of Kansas.

The expansion will add 143,000 square feet to its facilities on South Custer. The company estimates the building expansion will cost $8 million as well as an additional $100,000 for equipment, according to city documents.

The new hires will come over five years. Those jobs will have an average annual salary of more than $41,900, the documents said.

In its request to the council, the company sought a 100 percent property tax abatement on the cost of the expansion and new equipment. The five-year abatement can be extended for an additional five years.

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