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More good news for Alabama: Aerojet Rocketdyne opens new manufacturing facility in Huntsville

Alabama’s sizable footprint within the aerospace industry continues to grow.

Governor Kay Ivey and other high-ranking elected officials cut the ribbon today on Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new 136,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Huntsville.

The company’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) will produce advanced propulsion products such as solid rocket motor cases and other hardware for the Standard Missle-3, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and other U.S. defense and space programs.

Aerojet Rocketdyne markets itself as “a world-class developer and manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetics systems for customers including the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and other agencies and companies, both in the United States and abroad. ”

“This is an exciting day for Aerojet Rocketdyne, the city of Huntsville and for the entire state of Alabama,” said Ivey in a statement released after the event. “When a high-caliber company like Aerojet Rocketdyne locates a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in your state, its a powerful testament to the skill of your workforce and to the advantages you can offer to business. We’re thrilled to see this great company grow in Huntsville and make important contributions to the nation’s defense.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s workforce in Alabama now exceeds 400. The opening of the AMF, as well as the company’s 122,000 square foot Defense Headquarters Building, is the result of a consolidation effort that began in 2017. From these locations, the company will oversee work on propulsion projects for space and defense programs.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion is a critical factor in defense of this nation,” said Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield.

Eileen Drake, president and CEO of Aerojet Rocketdyne, sees the new facility as a strengthening of her company’s partnership with Huntsville.

“The AMF provides Aerojet Rocketdyne the capabilities we need to advance our nation’s security today and to further technologies that will allow us to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” she said. “Huntsville is a great place to build a future — and that’s what we are doing with our expansion here.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne has already taken significant steps to contribute to the community in north Alabama. In 2017, the company donated $1 million to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to establish a space science chair.

“We look forward to a long and prosperous future together as Aerojet Rocketdyne continues its leadership role in our nation’s journey into space,” remarked Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

Ivey has made Alabama’s position in the aerospace industry a priority during her administration, and today’s event signals her efforts are working.

“This is what advancement looks like,” she concluded. “The possibilities are limitless.”

Tim Howe is an owner and editor of Yellowhammer News