PALMDALE, Calif., Aug. 28, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector dedicated its Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center (AVMC) today in a ceremony attended by approximately 1,000 employees at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems has announced plans to consolidate its assembly operations in the Antelope Valley at its facilities on Site 4 of Air Force Plant 42. Those assembly operations will include work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle system and the BQM-74E aerial target. The company currently performs assembly of the latter two products at its Site 3 facility. In addition, Northrop Grumman will continue its maintenance and upgrade work on the B-2 stealth bomber at both Site 4 and Site 3.
"The dedication of the AVMC represents a milestone for the Antelope Valley, for the defense and aerospace companies in the area, for our military men and women, and for the employees here who ensure quality in the products we build for our nation's defense," said Gary Ervin, sector vice president of Integrated Systems' Air Combat Systems business unit.
At the conclusion of the ceremony inside the giant hangar where all 21 B-2 stealth bombers were assembled in the 1980s and 1990s, the hangar doors were opened to reveal prototypes and full-scale models of the F-35, B-2, Global Hawk and BQM-74 outside.
Northrop Grumman's Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center is expected to add about 1,000 jobs by the end of this decade to the existing work force of 1,200, with the JSF work accounting for most of those new jobs.
The October 2001 selection of the Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman/BAE Systems team as the winner of the Joint Strike Fighter competition led to Northrop Grumman's decision to consolidate the upcoming F-35 work at Site 4 with its ongoing assembly of unmanned vehicle systems, which are currently next door at Site 3. JSF assembly work is expected to begin in Palmdale during the third quarter of 2003 and continue for many years to come. Northrop Grumman's JSF program management, as well as JSF engineering and initial manufacturing, are based at the company's facilities in El Segundo, Calif.
The F-35 JSF is the next-generation aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. In addition, the governments of the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Turkey have joined the system development and demonstration phase of the F-35 program. More than 3,000 aircraft are expected to be produced for the U.S. and U.K. military alone. As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin team, Northrop Grumman is responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the JSF's center fuselage section, among several workshare responsibilities.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.
CONTACT: Cynthia Curiel Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (858) 518-9722