Northrop Grumman expands rocket booster manufacturing in Utah

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OmegA solid rocket motors being prepared for static test firing at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Promontory, Utah. Image credit: news.northropgrumman.com

Global aerospace and defence contractor Northrop Grumman has announced its latest investment in the construction of new cutting-edge solid rocket motor manufacturing facilities in Magna, Utah. 

The new infrastructures will support nearly every phase of solid rocket motor manufacturing, including case production, propellant mixing and casting, as well as final assembly. 

The investment is aimed at boosting the company’s capacity to deliver its 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63) solid rocket booster and the extended length variation (GEM 63XL) by over three-folds. This capability will be critical to supporting Northrop’s new contract with the United Launch Alliance, which the company secured in June. 

“We’re adding to our existing industry-leading facilities and modernizing through digital transformation, automation and process improvement to accelerate technical advancements for our customers,” said Wendy Williams, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman.

“This expansion will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area and increase our supplier base significantly.”

The new facilities are expected to go live by 2025. 

The expansion project is backed by Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Congressman Blake Moore, Senator Dan Thatcher and other local community leaders, as well as multiple United Launch Alliance representatives, including Chris Ellerhorst, vice president of Kuiper program, and Steve Furuto, vice president of finance and strategic supply chain.

In addition to the new manufacturing infrastructures, Northrop Grumman is also developing modernisation plans that include the purchase of cutting-edge manufacturing equipment, tooling and supporting equipment to streamline processes, enhance product delivery, and increase capacity and output.