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Aerojet Rocketdyne Expands Huntsville, Alabama, Manufacturing Hub

04/12/2017
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s plans to expand its presence in Huntsville, Alabama. The company will build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the company’s AR1 rocket engine and the relocation of engineering, program management and other jobs.

The company expects to add 800 jobs to support the United States space and defense programs for the next quarter century and beyond. As part of a strategic Competitive Improvement Program, Aeroject Rocketdyne previously selected Huntsville as the home of its Defense division headquarters and its Rocket Shop advanced programs.

“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,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO & President Eileen Drake said.

“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 has been developing the AR1 rocket engine since 2014 as a replacement for Russian engines used on the Atlas V rocket, which is assembled in Decatur by the United Launch Alliance. In addition, the AR1 is being advanced for use on the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA’s Mars rocket now under development at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The AR1 production facility in Huntsville will include advanced functions such as additive manufacturing (3-D printing), composites fabrication, and research and development. The company expects the facility to be ready for production in mid-2019.

“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.

“The company said today that it plans to move all Defense-related program management, engineering and support positions to Huntsville by the end of 2018.

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