iXblue Defense Systems makes Lincoln home

iXblue Defense Systems makes Lincoln home

Cutting the ribbon on iXblue Defense Systems’ new U.S. headquarters in Lincoln last Friday are President and CEO Mack Barber, R.I. Commerce Corp. President Jesse Saglio, Sen. Jack Reed, Gov. Gina Raimondo, Congressman James Langevin, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and iXblue’s General Manager Ted Curley.

LINCOLN – Gov. Gina Raimondo and other dignitaries visited Lincoln last week to welcome a new business to town at 27 Wellington Road.

The company, iXblue Defense Systems, has moved its U.S. headquarters from Natick, Mass., to a newly renovated space formerly occupied by the medical supply manufacturer Vital Diagnostics Inc.

IXblue’s President and CEO, Mack Barber, admitted that it took some convincing to make a new home in the Ocean State, but that the governor’s staff has been “tireless” in helping them transition. “The governor said: whatever you need, call me,” Barber said during a grand opening ceremony at the new facility last Friday.

The company is eligible for the governor’s Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit, predicated on whether it hires 22 full-time employees by 2020. The anticipated median salary of those jobs is $110,000. The total credits are estimated to be worth $1.03 million over the 10-year period.

Raimondo said iXblue was providing “the kinds of jobs we want” in R.I., and said the tax incentive program was one of several steps taken by her administration and the federal delegation to “make it easier to do business in R.I.”

She told company leaders, “This is where you belong. This is where you’re going to grow. We’re going to do everything we can to help make you successful.”

The navigational defense company designs advanced global position systems (GPS) often used in undersea naval operations. In the fall, the company produced its first American-made line of Marins M5 fiber-optic gyroscopes at a facility in Cranston. That product is now in use by the U.S. Navy.

The Marins M5 is the first of several products iXblue hopes to manufacture in R.I. over the next several years. The company will operate its U.S. headquarters out of the refurbished space on Wellington Road in Lincoln, while manufacturing out of the Cranston-based facility Federal Electronics.

The 16,000-square-foot building in Lincoln’s business park was purchased in October of last year from Prevco Realty LLC for $1.52 million.

They employ roughly 600 people worldwide and do business with more than 40 countries, designing and manufacturing solutions for navigation, underwater imaging and positioning, shipbuilding and photonics.

Speaking at Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed lauded iXblue’s partnership with the U.S. Navy and Newport’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center. Congressman James Langevin said iXblue would be joining a “sea of excellence” in the defense field locally, particularly in undersea matters.

According to a 2017 study conducted by the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, R.I. employs more than 30,000 people in the defense industry and annually contributes about $3.7 billion to the state’s economy.

Gov. Gina Raimondo speaks about the state’s effort to become more business friendly to attract companies like iXblue Defense Systems.


While we may be inconvenienced by the bridge and road work, Gina continues to rebuild Rhode Island's economy as well! Glad to see action from the State House to build a better State.