Northrop Grumman on Tuesday announced the opening of its new Cummings Research Park facility, further expanding the defense juggernaut’s operations in the Rocket City.
The work conducted at the company’s new facility will support work with the U.S. Air Force Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Program, the nation’s next generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.
The program serves as a modernization strategy for the United States’ land-based facet of the nuclear triad. Northrop Grumman was announced as the prime contractor in 2020 and is currently leading efforts, along with a nationwide team of industry partners, to develop the system to full capability by 2029.
The facility, which Northrop Grumman says will create an estimated 500 jobs, adds to the ever-increasing array of work critical to national security conducted at Cummings Research Park, which is the second-largest research park in the United States and fourth-largest in the world.
Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) applauded the company’s expansion in Huntsville as North Alabama continues to be a prime landing spot for programs contributing to the nation’s defense.
“I’m thrilled that Northrop Grumman will be building on its already large presence in Huntsville while also advancing a strategic national defense priority,” said Ivey. “By selecting Alabama’s ‘Rocket City,’ Northrop Grumman has picked the ideal location to carry out this important national security mission, and the company’s growth plans represent welcome news for Huntsville and for all of the state.”
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, praised the announcement and touted the Rocket City’s role in supporting top national security priorities.
“Huntsville is deeply rooted and invested in the security of our nation, and for decades has been at the forefront of safeguarding U.S. interests around the world,” stated Canfield. “This makes Huntsville — with a NASA ecosystem known for rocket propulsion innovation and technology — a natural fit for Northrop Grumman’s expanding work on the nation’s next-generation ICBM system. For this reason, I know this mission will be a success.”
Echoing the sentiments expressed by Ivey and Canfield was Mayor Tommy Battle, who continues to preside over an unprecedented era of growth of the Yellowhammer State’s newly-cemented largest city.
“Northrop Grumman is a valued partner in Huntsville’s preeminent role in the defense of our nation and armed forces across the globe,” advised Battle. “They are another great example of our community’s ability to deliver great expertise in aerospace, rockets, propulsion and defense.”
Cummings Research Park executive director Erin Koshut outlined the park’s master plan established in 2016, which indicated that the eastern portion of the business hub was due for redevelopment and reinvestment.
“In the short five years since the master plan, redevelopment and reinvestment like Northrop Grumman’s into the 110 Wynn Drive facility, as well as the new permanent campus of the Alabama School for Cyber Engineering and Technology, the MidCity amphitheater and more projects in the planning stages are reshaping CRP East into a more vibrant and active part of Cummings Research Park,” said Koshut.
Northrop Grumman presently employs more than 2,000 employees in Alabama. The aerospace and defense company holds a wide-ranging portfolio supporting a variety of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA missions.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL