The defence prime has opened a new facility in Huntsville, Alabama, designed to support the US Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to deliver a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.
The GBSD aims to modernise the land-based leg of the nation’s strategic nuclear triad.
Northrop Grumman was awarded the prime contract in September 2020 and is expected to lead a nationwide team to develop the system and deliver an initial operational capability by 2029.
The facility, which is located in the historic Cummings Research Park, is expected to generate new jobs in the region and provide longer term support to national security and civil space programs.
“We are excited to grow our GBSD team in Alabama and leverage the dynamic aerospace talent in the Rocket City to support this critical strategic deterrent capability for our country and allies,” Greg Manuel, vice-president and general manager, strategic deterrent systems, Northrop Grumman, said.
“Huntsville’s rich expertise and legacy in command-and-control systems will help our nationwide team deliver a safe, secure and effective capability to the US Air Force on time and on cost.
“We look forward to continuing our strong community partnerships and delivering 21st century innovation for our customer missions.”
Northrop Grumman currently supports a workforce of approximately 2,000 employees in Alabama, which deliver services for several Department of Defense and NASA projects.
“I’m thrilled that Northrop Grumman will be building on its already large presence in Huntsville while also advancing a strategic national defence priority,” Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, said.
“By selecting Alabama’s ‘Rocket City,’ Northrop Grumman has picked the ideal location to carry out this important national security mission, and the company’s growth plans represent welcome news for Huntsville and for all of the state.”
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The opening of the new facility comes just over a week after the US Air Force tasked the prime with designing a next-generation, open standards-based signals intelligence sensor for high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms.
As part of the project, which falls under of the USAF’s Global High-altitude Open-system Sensor Technology (GHOST) program, Northrop Grumman will develop a prototype sensor with both airborne and ground components.
The GHOST sensor is expected to be scaled and configured to fly on multiple types of manned and unmanned Air Force aircraft, and is tipped to support rapid system enhancement, testing, accreditation and integration in accordance with changing requirements.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.