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TTCA Praises Northrop Grumman's Expansion Plans for Joint Strike Fighter in Palmdale and El Segundo.

Business Editors/Aerospace & Defense Writers

Northrop Grumman Will Assemble Components in Palmdale, and

Expand Development and Component Manufacturing in El Segundo for

the Aircraft That Could Create 1,500 Jobs

The California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency (TTCA) today praised the announcement that Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector will perform component assembly operations for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program at its facility in Palmdale, and will expand its operations in El Segundo for JSF development and component manufacturing work.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a supersonic aircraft designed for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the British Royal Air Force and Navy. Plans call for more than 3,000 aircraft over the life of the program.

"We are delighted that Northrop Grumman has chosen to expand two of its JSF operations in California," said TTCA Secretary Lon S. Hatamiya. "Its expansion plans will create up to 1,500 new jobs through 2006 for some of California's most skilled aerospace workforce available."

California is the home to stealth technology and was instrumental in the development and testing of the JSF. California Governor Gray Davis lobbied hard to secure as much of the work for this project as possible for the state. He pitched Plant 42 in Palmdale as a potential site for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase, and has urged the consideration of the site for full production of the aircraft as well. Governor Davis appointed his senior military adviser, Major Gen. William J. Jefferds (Ret.), to head the effort.

"California remains steadfast in helping to meet the needs of the nation's security," said Maj. Gen. Jefferds, who is also Director of TTCA's Office of Military Base Retention and Reuse. "Retaining California's lead in the aerospace industry is critical to the health of California's economy and our nation."

Ultimately, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin led the team that edged out Boeing Company to secure the $200 billion contract for the JSF production. Lockheed conducted the first phase of the project with Concept Development in Palmdale. The use of California firms in the ensuing phases could generate millions of dollars in economic activity for the state. California-based Northrop Grumman has already benefited by being a member of the winning Lockheed JSF team and was awarded an $18.9 billion contract in October 2001 for the system development and demonstration phase of the program, which includes production of 22 aircraft. One of Northrop Grumman's primary responsibilities is the design, integration and manufacture of the aircraft's center fuselage section.

"Performing Northrop Grumman's work for the Joint Strike Fighter in El Segundo and Palmdale allows us to utilize the outstanding skills of the work forces in both areas," said, Air Combat Systems Sector Vice President Gary W. Ervin. "We're proud of our long tradition of excellence in the South Bay and the Antelope Valley."

In Palmdale, assembly of the first JSF center fuselage is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2003 at Northrop Grumman's facility at Air Force Plant 42 where the company already performs maintenance of the B-2 stealth bomber and final assembly of unmanned aerial systems. Conducting JSF assembly at the same facility will provide significant operational efficiencies.

The company's JSF work in Palmdale is expected to account for about 250 jobs by 2006. Currently, Northrop Grumman's work on the B-2 and unmanned systems employs about 1,200 in the Antelope Valley. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman began moving into a newly leased facility near its current site in El Segundo to house the program administration and engineering work for its JSF activity. The company expects to have more than 1,000 employees, mostly engineers, in the new facility by the end of next year.

In addition, Northrop Grumman will perform initial manufacturing and composites fabrication at its existing facilities in El Segundo. That work will account for approximately 200 jobs over the next several years. Currently, Northrop Grumman employs about 3,500 people at its El Segundo operations.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete aircraft systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat missions. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts. For more information, visit www.northropgrumman.com.

The California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency serves as the state's principal catalyst for innovation, investment and economic opportunity, enhancing the quality of life for all Californians.

Visit http://commerce.ca.gov for more information.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jul 10, 2002
Words:767
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