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Aerojet Rocketdyne Expands In Huntsville – 700 New Jobs

Published on April 10, 2017

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), announced that it will consolidate several facilities and relocate their operations to Huntsville, Alabama over the next two years.

“We are two years into the first phase of our [Competitive Improvement Program] CIP affordability drive and the consolidation progress, and overhead cost reductions achieved to date have exceeded our expectations,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “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 plans to consolidate its Sacramento and Vernon, California, and Gainesville, Virginia, sites while centralizing and expanding its existing presence in Huntsville, Alabama, with a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for AR1 engine production, Additive Manufacturing, Composites production and Research & Development expected to be ready for production in mid-2019.

To accommodate the company’s consolidations, overall growth plans for Huntsville include the addition of approximately 800 jobs (100 announced in fall 2016) to support America’s space and defense needs for the next quarter century and beyond.

“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. “Aerojet Rocketdyne’s decision to base these cutting-edge activities in Huntsville is a powerful endorsement of the capabilities found there.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle stated, “This project is another great example of our effort to diversify Huntsville’s economy with high quality advanced manufacturing, and yet, Aerojet Rocketdyne is here because of Huntsville’s outstanding role in research and defense technology. This project works all facets of our economy by marrying R&D with advanced manufacturing. We are both rocket scientists and rocket builders.”

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale W. Strong said, “Everyone knows Madison County, Alabama is home to Rocket City USA where rockets and propulsion truly began. The announcement by Aerojet Rocketdyne today selecting Huntsville, Alabama to build their rocket engines reaffirms we are and will continue to be Rocket City USA and our world will be better because of this decision.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets.

“Huntsville is well known for its high concentration of engineers, but Huntsville also boasts many advanced manufacturing companies so expanding Aerojet Rocketdyne really is a perfect fit for Huntsville,” said Hundley Batts, Board Chair of the Industrial Development Board of Huntsville.

Joe Newberry, CEO and President of Redstone Federal Credit Union and 2017 Chamber Board Chair said, “The Rocket City has been at the epicenter of groundbreaking space exploration technology for decades and we are excited that Aerojet Rocketdyne write a new chapter in our ongoing aerospace and defense legacy. This is an important step in Huntsville’s next era of expansion.”

Kim Lewis, CEO of PROJECT XYZ and the 2017 Chamber Vice Chair for Economic Development, agreed that this project will lead to new opportunities and add to the great corporate ecosystem in the region. “As a Chamber and as a community, we’ve been pushing efforts to diversify the economy as part of the Huntsville Regional Economic Growth Initiative. Adding these advanced manufacturing jobs will do just that and we look forward to expanding our relationship with Aerojet Rocketdyne.”

At the company’s Sacramento site, Defense-related program management, engineering and related support positions will be moved to the company’s Huntsville, Alabama, facilities, home of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Defense headquarters and Rocket Shop℠ Defense Advanced Programs, by the end of 2018.

The company plans to close its Gainesville, Virginia, facility in the third quarter of 2018.  Approximately 170 positions there will be relocated or eliminated with relocations planned to Huntsville and the company’s facility in Orange County, Virginia.

Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be found at Rocket.com and AerojetRocketdyne.com.

For more information, contact Carrie Rice, Director of Marketing & Communications at crice@hsvchamber.org.