Northrop Grumman has opened a factory to produce the engines for hypersonic missiles in Elkton, Maryland.
The Hypersonics Capability Center (HCC) is the first US facility specifically for the large-scale manufacturing of air-breathing propulsion, which includes ramjet and scramjet propulsion. It will produce hypersonic propulsion systems “at scale” for the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) long range, rapid response weapons that travel at speeds beyond Mach 5, said Northrop Grumman.
This includes the US Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile development and production. The HCC also has the capacity to support future hypersonic systems work from across DoD consolidates engine manufacturing processes at one site.
Jim Kalberer, vice president of missile products at Northrop Grumman said, “This is a pivotal moment for hypersonics weapons. We have moved beyond building and demonstrating propulsion prototypes to large-scale manufacturing.
“Our proactive investment in this facility establishes the supply chain and optimizes manufacturing processes to produce hypersonic systems affordably at scale.”
The HCC leverages the latest metal manufacturing processes and precision non-destructive test (NDT) technologies to rapidly produce complex assemblies with unmatched quality.
Northrop Grumman is also investing in a new missile integration facility at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia, USA for production of advanced defense and strike missiles, as well as expanding and optimizing solid rocket motor production at its facility in Promontory, Utah.