Northrop Grumman starts rocket motor production in West Virginia, US

7 March 2019 (Last Updated May 28th, 2020 13:38)

Northrop Grumman has announced the start of production of rocket motors at the modernised tactical motor manufacturing facility in West Virginia, US.

Northrop Grumman starts rocket motor production in West Virginia, US
Northrop Grumman produces insensitive munitions rocket motors for GMLRS. Credit: Lockheed Martin.

Northrop Grumman has announced the start of production of rocket motors at the modernised tactical motor manufacturing facility in West Virginia, US.

Located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL), the new plant will help the company provide for the US Military’s increased demand for rocket motors.

The company will also manufacture insensitive munitions rocket motors for the US Army for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) programme.

The new plant includes more than 50,000ft² of manufacturing space and was constructed on a previously undeveloped property on ABL’s 1,600-acre campus.

“According to the company, the new facility will improve manufacturing flow and lower a product’s travel distance by 80%.”

Northrop Grumman missile products vice-president Pat Nolan said: “We’ve created a flexible and efficient production line that leverages lean manufacturing techniques and will help lower production costs.

“We intend to continue our investments in rocket motor technologies that make our warfighters safer, as well as enhancing the safety and efficiency in our production facilities so we can continue to deliver the capacity and cutting-edge technology that our military services need to execute their missions.”

According to the company, the new facility will improve manufacturing flow and lower a product’s travel distance by 80%.

The company is the third largest manufacturing employer and largest defence contractor in West Virginia and employs more than 1,300 employees at its ABL location.

The US Navy-owned ABL facility has operations covering 1.25 million square feet of manufacturing space.