AeroVironment Inc. plans to create a New England Innovation Center near Boston, the first such engineering center by the company outside of California.

The innovation center will lead development of advanced products that complement the Simi Valley company’s small unmanned aircraft.

Chief Executive Wahid Nawabi said the expansion will spur the company’s growth objectives.

“Our latest Innovation Center will expand AeroVironment’s capabilities so that we may translate advances in key technologies into ever more valuable solutions that support our customers across the globe,” Nawabi said in a statement.

The center will be led by Tom Vaneck, who before joining AeroVironment had been vice president of InstantEye Robotics, a division of Physical Sciences Inc. in Andover, Mass., and general manager of Aurora Flight Sciences’ Research and Development Center in Cambridge, Mass.

“Our New England Innovation Center will develop new robotic platforms to expand our family of systems, advance our autonomous capabilities and build on AeroVironment’s history of delivering innovative solutions that help customers proceed with certainty,” Vaneck said in a statement.

The company announced the center on Tuesday. Shares of AeroVironment (AVAV) closed Wednesday down 27 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $68.29 on the Nasdaq.