Northrop Grumman has broken ground on a Hypersonics Center of Excellence to support US and allied forces cope with evolving threats. The Elkton, MD facility will provide full lifecycle production for hypersonic weapons, from design and development to production and integration, the company announced on 13 July.
“Hypersonic weapons protect our warfighters by offering higher speeds, longer ranges, optimal performance and the ability to combat a threat with as much distance in between them and the threat as possible,” commented Rebecca Torzone, VP Missile Products. “Our new hypersonics production facility will optimize our development efficiency, drive affordability, and ultimately deliver weapons to our warfighters faster.”
The new 60,000 sqft facility will feature advanced production technologies and will implement digital engineering best practices, resulting in increased agility and ability to respond rapidly to changes in technology or customer mission needs. The company plans to automate case preparation and non-destructive inspection technology, such as X-ray, as well as to deploy autonomous guided vehicles to improve safety and reliability. Construction is expected to conclude by 2023.