L3Harris Expands Its Rocket Motor Production in Virginia

Image credit Solid Rocket Motors | L3Harris®

L3Harris Technologies has agreed with Orange Country, Virginia, to fund the expansion and modernization of the company’s site in the area. The effort is not only intended to increase domestic production of solid rocket motors critical for national security but also to add new jobs to the community.

L3Harris Technologies is a defense contractor that delivers end-to-end technology solutions connecting space, air, land, sea, and cyber domains. Its Aerojet Rocketdyne segment is a developer and manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetics systems, providing a full range of propulsion and power systems for rockets, spacecraft, strategic missiles, missile defense, tactical systems, and armaments.

Under the agreement, the defense contractor is going to construct new facilities, purchase equipment, and recruit 80 employees over the next three years as part of an initiative to expand operations in the state through investments totaling $41.2 million. Most of this investment will be taken from the cooperative agreement Aerojet Rocketdyne with the Department of Defense (DoD), which was signed last year.

Some of the most advanced defense and space propulsion research, development, and manufacturing operations in the world, such as the Orange Altitude Test Facility are located in Orange County.

Not only is it a fully-equipped propellant lab, and a state-of-the-art air-breathing test facility, but it also makes complex rocket propulsion systems, space launch vehicles, and national security satellites.

Last April, the DoD’s Office of Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) agreed to invest $41.2 million in Aerojet Rocketdyne to expand and modernize the company’s facilities in a range of areas, where mainly manufacturing complex rocket propulsion systems, including Huntsville, Alabama; Camden, Arkansas; and Orange County, Virginia. This effort was funded by the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act and aimed to boost the production as well as delivery speed of Javelins, Stingers, and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). The U.S. has delivered rockets, including Javelins, Stingers, and GMLRS, to the Ukrainian government, so the modernization of Aerojet Rocketdyne facilities also will help to replenish DoD ammunition supplies.

The Virginia Commonwealth and Orange County are also providing L3Harris with around $2.18 million in combined incentives to support site improvement and construction activities.

Ashton Henning

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