Northrop Grumman Opens New Hypersonic Propulsion Systems Manufacturing Facility

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has opened a Hypersonics Capability Centre (HCC) in Elkton, Maryland to produce advanced propulsion solutions that can power hypersonic missiles beyond Mach 5.

A factory-of-the-future, the HCC establishes the infrastructure and capacity necessary to cost-effectively produce hypersonic propulsion at scale supporting the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) growing demands for long range, rapid response weapons, the company said on Aug 3.

The HCC is the first US facility designed specifically for large-scale manufacturing of air-breathing propulsion which includes ramjet and scramjet propulsion.

The facility will support the US Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile development and production and has capacity to support future hypersonic systems work from across DoD, the statement said.

The HCC features state-of-the-art production technology, implements digital engineering and consolidates engine manufacturing processes, supporting cost reduction and increased production.

Jim Kalberer, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman said, “This is a pivotal moment for hypersonics weapons; we have moved beyond building and demonstrating propulsion prototypes to large-scale manufacturing. Our proactive investment in this facility establishes the supply chain and optimises manufacturing processes to produce hypersonic systems affordably at scale.”

Kevin Anderson, Maryland Commerce Secretary said, “Having Northrop Grumman expand its footprint in Maryland is a testament to our state’s thriving aerospace and defence industry. With the addition of this new facility, Cecil County is gaining a first-of-its-kind manufacturing centre, as well as a significant number of new jobs. We are incredibly grateful to Northrop Grumman for its continued investment in Maryland.”

Details on Northrop Grumman’s Hypersonics Capability Centre:

Northrop Grumman is a leader in hypersonic propulsion, which is part of the company’s broad offerings in advanced weapons, including armaments, components, missiles, electronics and interceptors.

The HCC is Northrop Grumman’s latest manufacturing infrastructure expansion to strengthen weapons capacity for the US military and allies. The HCC leverages state of the art metal manufacturing processes and precision non-destructive test technologies to rapidly produce complex assemblies with unmatched quality. These new offerings will also drive opportunities across the region for additional technically skilled high-wage jobs, engineers and other professional roles at the Elkton facility.

The company is also investing in a new missile integration facility at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia for production of advanced defence and strike missiles, as well as expanding and optimising solid rocket motor production at its facility in Promontory, Utah. –ng/adj/mhi (Pix: Northrop Grumman)