Aerial Warfare

Orange County Expansion Helps Aerojet Rocketdyne Boost Solid Rocket Motor Production

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Orange County Expansion Helps Aerojet Rocketdyne Boost Solid Rocket Motor Production

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Orange County Expansion Helps Aerojet Rocketdyne Boost Solid Rocket Motor Production
Orange County Expansion Helps Aerojet Rocketdyne Boost Solid Rocket Motor Production

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company, is expanding its Orange County, Virginia, location so it can begin building solid rocket motors (SRMs) used to power Javelin and Stinger missiles at the site. The new production facilities in Orange County are part of a larger effort underway at Aerojet Rocketdyne as the company invests internal capital and executes the $215.6M cooperative agreement signed last year with the Department of Defense to expand and modernize facilities to support increased production of SRMs. Orange County, which serves as Aerojet Rocketdyne’s center of excellence for propellant research and development, features the Orange Altitude Test Facility (OATS). OATS is a fully equipped propellant lab and a state-of-the-art air-breathing test facility located on a campus that encompasses 2,100 acres with 256,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

“Our Orange County site has been a hub of aerospace engineering and manufacturing excellence for more than 30 years,” said Charley Musso, director of the Orange County site. “We have played a crucial role in the development and production of propulsion systems that are integral to both defense and space exploration missions, and our team looks forward to leveraging its expertise to make the motors that will power the Stinger and Javelin missiles that protect America’s warfighters, its allies and partners.”

FGM-148 Javelin man-portable anti-tank system
FGM-148 Javelin man-portable anti-tank system

Employees at the site manufacture propulsion to support key defense programs like Standard Missile and Trident II D5, and build the jettison motor for the Artemis program, a key component of the Launch Abort System for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. A part of the Orange County community for more than 30 years, Aerojet Rocketdyne currently employs around 350 workers at the site, which reflects an increase of nearly 90% over the past five years. The company recently announced plans to hire 80 additional employees over the next three years to support its ongoing expansion in Orange County. In addition, between 2019 and 2023, Aerojet Rocketdyne sourced more than $348M to 118 Virginia suppliers.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is transferring Javelin and Stinger SRM work to Orange County from its Camden, Arkansas, location. The Camden site has also seen significant investments to upgrade and modernize facilities and equipment over the past several years as the company works increase its overall production capacity to meet the tremendous demand for its solid rocket motors. Transferring the production of smaller SRMs, like Javelin and Stinger, to Orange County will allow the Camden team to focus their efforts on building medium and large SRMs that support programs such as PAC-3 MSE, GMLRS, and Standard Missile.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the North Dakota National Guard fire a Stinger Missile, during a live-fire training exercise, during Decisive Action Rotation 16-09, at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. (U.S. Army/Spc. Kyle Edwards, Operations Group, National Training Center)
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the North Dakota National Guard fire a Stinger Missile, during a live-fire training exercise, during Decisive Action Rotation 16-09, at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. (U.S. Army/Spc. Kyle Edwards, Operations Group, National Training Center)

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