Several defense contractors, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, have announced new facilities in recent weeks, creating what amounts to a mini construction boom – and plenty of opportunities for job seekers. The investments are designed to help these companies serve such fast-growing areas as missile defense, space, and unmanned systems.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin
In Huntsville, AL, Boeing has broken ground on a 35,000-square-foot factory expansion that will allow it to increase seeker production by more than 30% for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor missile. In addition to ramping up output of the existing seeker, Boeing is developing a new seeker “to ensure effectiveness against evolving threats,” the company said on November 13.
Operated by the U.S. Army and partner nations, the PAC-3 interceptor is designed to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, as well as cruise missiles and aircraft. Boeing recently delivered the 5,000th seeker for the PAC-3 interceptor, whose prime contractor is Lockheed Martin.
Also in Huntsville, Lockheed Martin opened a $16.5 million, 25,000-square-foot lab on November 14 to conduct development, testing, and systems integration for the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI), which will defend against long-range ballistic missiles. Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are competing to build the NGI, which will replace the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based Interceptor.
Lockheed Martin said it also plans to break ground in the first quarter of calendar year 2024 on two facilities in Courtland, AL, that will add missile production space and a payload manufacturing center.
L3HARRIS, NORTHROP GRUMMAN, ROCKET LAB
In Camden, AR, L3Harris Technologies’ recently acquired Aerojet Rocketdyne business has opened a new 5,200-square-foot laboratory to test materials for solid-propellant rocket motors, according to a November 27 announcement. The lab will enhance safety and reduce costs in addition to providing more testing capacity, L3Harris said.
Northrop Grumman has committed to spending more than $200 million to create an electronics manufacturing and testing facility in Waynesboro, VA, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced on November 14. Northrop Grumman expects to create more than 300 jobs at the facility by 2028.
In Baltimore County, MD, Rocket Lab intends to establish a space structures factory in a 113,000-square-foot plant formerly used by Lockheed Martin. The site will support the development and manufacture of satellites and launch vehicles, Rocket Lab said on November 17.
DZYNE TECHNOLOGIES, MITRE
Dzyne Technologies, which develops and manufactures long-endurance unmanned aircraft, announced on November 29 that it is building a 125,000-square-foot facility in Irvine, CA, to house its growing workforce and meet the U.S. Department of Defense’s increasing demand for autonomous systems. Dzyne’s products include Leap and Ultra, which can stay aloft for 40 and 80 hours at a time, respectively.
In Bedford, MA, nonprofit corporation Mitre has formally opened its BlueTech Lab, which will conduct maritime research for national security and the environment. The facility includes a 106-foot-long, 620,000-gallon test tank that “can accommodate the use of uncrewed undersea and surface vehicles in a large, controlled space and enables the study of communication and acoustic sensing,” Mitre said on November 21.