IUKA, Miss. – Aug. 15, 2018 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) hosted government and business leaders today at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the company's facility in Iuka, Mississippi.

Northrop Grumman Celebrates 20 Years in Iuka Mississippi
Employees, state official and local dignitaries celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Large Structure Center of Excellence in Iuka, Miss.

Scott Lehr, president, flight systems, Northrop Grumman addressed employees and guests with an overview of the company and its history in the tri-state area. Since opening in 1998, Northrop Grumman’s Iuka manufacturing plant has produced 542 large composite structures supporting 128 United Launch Alliance (ULA) launches.

During the event, guests toured the facility, including a look at the advanced manufacturing processes used on the large composite structures for the company's Antares, Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles and United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V and Delta IV rockets. Event attendees included local community leaders, members of the Mississippi Development Authority and elected officials from the state and Tishomingo County.

“Northrop Grumman has a proven record of providing critical capabilities to our war fighters,” said Trent Kelly, U.S. representative from Mississippi’s First District, in a statement. “Our workforce in the First District is second to none and allows Northrop Grumman to continue its tradition of excellence. We appreciate its commitment to our national defense and the Mississippi economy.” 

Speaking about Northrop Grumman’s expanded operations in Iuka and growth of its aerospace workforce at the site, Wendy Williams, the company’s vice president and general manager, aerospace structures, expressed appreciation for the partnerships with the state, the Mississippi Development Authority and Tishomingo County. “This anniversary speaks to the commitment, dedication and diligence of each and every employee at this plant,” said Williams. “They should all be proud of their contributions to the company, ULA, the U.S. Air Force and the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.”

Like Kelly, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith shared statements. “The Iuka facility has been a valuable part of north Mississippi’s manufacturing community for the past two decades. The advanced composite structures produced at this site are a testament to Mississippi’s talented workforce and support our nation’s need for highly capable space vehicles,” said Wicker. “I commend Northrop Grumman’s recurring investments in the state, and I hope this partnership will continue to grow as we look to the next 20 years.”

Hyde-Smith said, “I love the fact that this rural corner of Mississippi is playing an important role in advancing U.S. aerospace capabilities. The Northrop Grumman workforce at this Iuka plant has done commendable work for 20 years, and I look forward to that continuing for decades to come.”

As the company’s center of excellence for large composite structures, the Iuka site specializes in the production of composite launch vehicle structures that measure four to five meters in diameter and range from one to 19 meters in length. Since 1998 the facility has grown to occupy 320,000 square feet and is home to more than 150 employees. The facility uses advanced hand layup (laying the carbon by hand – versus by machine), fiber placement, machining and inspection techniques for production. It houses one of the largest autoclaves in the world (20 feet in diameter by 83 feet in length), where the carbon fiber is heated at a high temperature to melt and bake resin in the carbon fiber, which stiffens when cooled.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.