Aerojet Rocketdyne Fires Up Rocket Propulsion Facility in Huntsville

Aerojet Rocketdyne will be equipped to do more development and testing of advanced propulsion engines, such as this 2018 test of an RL10 rocket engine at the company’s facility in West Palm Beach.

Aerojet Rocketdyne officials, on June 7, cut the ribbon on an Advanced Manufacturing Facility at the company’s Defense Headquarters building in Huntsville.

Huntsville is the company’s Defense Business Unit headquarters and home to some of the most advanced defense and space manufacturing technology in the world.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new 136,000 square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Facility will make products such as solid rocket motor cases and other hardware for critical U.S. defense and space programs

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Senior Alabama officials joined Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CEO Eileen Drake and Executive Chairman Warren Lichtenstein at the 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.

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 program.

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.

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.

“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.”

“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.”

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