A globally-recognized rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer is expanding its presence in Alabama.
Aerojet Rocketdyne announced plans on Monday it will consolidate several facilities and relocate their operations to Huntsville, Ala. over the next two years.
“We are two years into the first phase of our CIP affordability drive and the consolidation progress, and overhead cost reductions achieved to date have exceeded our expectations,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We intend to build on this success by expanding our CIP-related consolidation efforts so we can deliver the value our customers demand and position our company for further growth.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne plans to consolidate its Sacramento and Vernon, Cali. and Gainesville, Va. sites while centralizing and expanding its existing presence in Huntsville, Ala. with a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for AR1 engine production, Additive Manufacturing, Composites production and Research & Development. The site is expected to be ready for production in mid-2019.
The company plans to close its Gainesville, Va. facility in the third quarter of 2018. Approximately 170 positions there will be relocated or eliminated with relocations planned to Huntsville and the company’s facility in Orange County, Va..
To accommodate the company’s consolidations, overall growth plans for Huntsville include the addition of approximately 800 jobs to support America’s space and defense needs for the next quarter century and beyond.
“Huntsville’s legacy in the development of rocket propulsion systems makes it the ideal choice for Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 rocket engine assembly center and its advanced manufacturing and engineering operations,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Aerojet Rocketdyne’s decision to base these cutting-edge activities in Huntsville is a powerful endorsement of the capabilities found there.”
The AR1 is being developed to provide the United States with a new, world-competitive, state-of-the-art engine for launch vehicles and will end American dependency on Russian engines for national security and civil space launches. The company is currently developing and testing AR1 engine systems and is on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 to meet the congressionally-mandated deadline to end U.S. dependence on foreign engine suppliers.
“This project is another great example of our effort to diversify Huntsville’s economy with high quality advanced manufacturing, and yet, Aerojet Rocketdyne is here because of Huntsville’s outstanding role in research and defense technology,” stated Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This project works all facets of our economy by marrying R&D with advanced manufacturing. We are both rocket scientists and rocket builders.”
At the company’s Sacramento site, Defense-related program management, engineering and related support positions will be moved to the company’s Huntsville, Alabama, facilities, home of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Defense headquarters and Rocket Shop℠ Defense Advanced Programs, by the end of 2018.
“Aerojet Rocketdyne’s announcement today is excellent news for our state,” added Sen. Richard Shelby. “North Alabama remains the nation’s epicenter for aerospace and defense research, development, and production. I am pleased to see Aerojet Rocketdyne investing and growing in Alabama, and I look forward to working with them and other businesses to continue boosting economic development opportunities.”