HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- Senior Alabama officials joined Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CEO Eileen Drake and Executive Chairman Warren Lichtenstein today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company’s newest state-of-the-art rocket propulsion Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF), marking the latest milestone in the company’s ongoing expansion in the Rocket City.
Surrounded by company employees and Alabama state and local officials, including Governor Kay Ivey, Drake officially declared the AMF open for operation. The 136,000-square-foot AMF will produce advanced propulsion products such as solid rocket motor cases and other hardware for the Standard Missile-3, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and other U.S. defense and space programs.
“The AMF provides Aerojet Rocketdyne the capabilities we need to advance our nation’s security today and to further technologies that will allow us to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Drake.
In addition to current programs, which are being transferred from other locations, the AMF is designed for new program opportunities, including hypersonic and the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.
“This is an exciting day for Aerojet Rocketdyne, the City of Huntsville and for the entire state of Alabama,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “When a high-caliber company like Aerojet Rocketdyne locates a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in your state, it’s a powerful testament to the skill of your workforce and to the advantages you can offer to business. We’re thrilled to see this great company grow in Huntsville and make important contributions to the nation’s defense.”
The Huntsville expansion and AMF are part of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Competitive Improvement Program, which is aimed at reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency. Aerojet Rocketdyne officially established Huntsville as the headquarters of its Defense Business Unit in 2016. The company’s local workforce, which numbered approximately 70 in 2017, is now up to more than 400, with additional growth planned as the AMF reaches full production rates.
Yesterday Drake formally cut the ribbon on the 122,000-square-foot Defense Headquarters building and hosted state and local officials at an open house reception. Here, the company is supporting important innovations for America’s warfighters and explorers, from industry-leading hypersonics technology, to the advanced controller for the RS-25 engines that will power NASA’s Space Launch System.
“We are grateful to Aerojet Rocketdyne for choosing Huntsville, this site and our highly skilled people, to produce some of the most advanced defense and space manufacturing technology in the world,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We look forward to a long and prosperous future together as Aerojet Rocketdyne continues its leadership role in our nation’s journey into space.”
Drake cited key reasons for making Huntsville the center of its defense business, a highly technical workforce of engineers and scientists and the proximity of the company’s key customers and government partners.
“Huntsville is a great place to build a future – and that’s what we are doing with our expansion here,” said Drake.
About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.