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Northrop Grumman opens new hypersonic propulsion systems factory

US prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation has opened a new Hypersonics Capability Center (HCC) in Elkton, Maryland to produce advanced propulsion solutions that can power hypersonic missiles beyond Mach 5.

The HCC is the first US facility designed specifically for large-scale manufacturing of air-breathing propulsion which includes ramjet and scramjet propulsion.  It will support the US Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile  (HACM) development and production and has capacity and has capacity to support future hypersonic systems work from across the DoD.

“This is a pivotal moment for hypersonics weapons; we have moved beyond building and demonstrating propulsion prototypes to large-scale manufacturing,” said Jim Kalberer, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. “Our proactive investment in this facility establishes the supply chain and optimizes manufacturing processes to produce hypersonic systems affordably at scale.”

The HCC establishes the infrastructure and capacity necessary to cost-effectively produce hypersonic propulsion at scale, supporting the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) growing demands for long range, rapid response weapons. It features state-of-the-art production technology, implements digital engineering and consolidates engine manufacturing processes, supporting cost reduction and increased production.

The company is also investing in a new missile integration facility at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia for production of advanced defence and strike missiles, as well as expanding and optimizing solid rocket motor production at its facility in Promontory, Utah.

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