News Release

San Antonio-based SwRI to construct first facility outside of Texas

$18.5 million building will expand defense and intelligence capabilities

Business Announcement

Southwest Research Institute



SwRI staff members from Warner Robins, Georgia, gather at the groundbreaking ceremony for the first Institute-owned facility outside of San Antonio, Texas.  The $18.5 million, 33,000-square-foot office will house more than 50 SwRI employees and consultants and will include new laboratory areas for the development of advanced aerospace and defense technology.  Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2025.

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Credit: Southwest Research Institute

SAN ANTONIO — May 2, 2024 — For the first time in its 76-year history, Southwest Research Institute has purchased land and will construct a facility outside of its home city, San Antonio, Texas. The Institute acquired more than 8 acres in Warner Robins, Georgia, and began construction on an $18.5 million, 33,000-square-foot facility in support of defense and intelligence research and development.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the site, located three miles from Robins Air Force Base, was held May 1. The new single-story office will house more than 50 SwRI staff members and consultants and will include new laboratory areas for the development of advanced aerospace and defense technology.

“We currently manage some of our government projects off-site at Robins Air Force Base,” said Winfield Greene, director of SwRI’s Advanced Electronic Warfare Department. “The new facility will allow us to handle this type of work in our own space to expand our support of the United States Air Force.”

Most SwRI staff members in the Warner Robins office are developing electronic warfare technology, countermeasure systems to protect aircraft from enemy weapons fire. The staff currently operates in a 15,000-square-foot, leased building.

“The new facility will continue the Warner Robins office’s mission of supporting the U.S. Air Force and our national defense by adding laboratory and meeting spaces as well as the capability to test equipment that, right now, we can only test on-base,” said Nils Smith, SwRI Defense and Intelligence Solutions Division vice president. “The facility will also have more conference space and areas for future development as our work for the military in Warner Robins grows.”

SwRI opened the Warner Robins location more than three decades ago to expand business opportunities and better serve clients at Robins Air Force Base.

“The growth and expansion of the office in Warner Robins follows the ‘SwRI model’ of enabling our innovative staff members to take the lead and pursue their personal professional aspirations,” said SwRI Executive Vice President and COO Walt Downing, who helped establish the SwRI office in Georgia in 1990. “Our staff members in Warner Robins are proud to serve our USAF clients in electronic warfare, and we are pleased to provide the facilities, equipment and internal research funding to help them be successful. Our clients benefit from our investment, as was envisioned by our founder, Tom Slick.”

SwRI operates 10 U.S. locations outside of its San Antonio headquarters as well as international locations in Beijing, China, and the United Kingdom. The Institute has a wholly owned subsidiary, Signature Science LLC, in Austin, Texas. Traditionally, the Institute leases office and laboratory space away from its home base, but purchasing property and building was the best solution to meet client needs in Warner Robins. The facility is expected to be complete by mid-2025.

“While we expand our footprint, we’re doing something good in the Warner Robins community, hiring and growing the local economy as well as keeping our warfighters safer,” Greene said.

SwRI develops custom defense, cyber security, radio frequency and signal analysis solutions to advance homeland security.

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