Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to expand its 1,200-acre operating location in South Arkansas with an 17,000 square foot facility.
On Thursday April 25, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s leadership team and state and local officials broke ground on the new facility in Camden, which is to be used for the development of large solid rocket motors within the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program. The Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EDM) facility is expected to open Spring 2020. According to Aerojet Rocketdyne’s leadership team, this expansion will grow their current workforce of 800 employees to over 900.
“Once open for business, the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development facility will be the newest and most modern rocket development facility in the nation,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CEO and president.
This expansion is a result of the commitment with Governor Asa Hutchinson and the State to invest more than 50 million dollars into expanding the facilities in Arkansas. This expansion was also made possible from the growth and progress of the ongoing partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Calhoun County and the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development.
The large solid rocket motors developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne power some of the systems that provide our nation’s defense. This new facility will house significant work on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent that will modernize our nation’s defense by replacing Cold War era strategic deterrent.
“This will be replacing the Minuteman III for the U.S. Air Force that has been out there for decades and we are working with the two companies competing for this project to provide solid rocket motors for the 500 or so missiles the U.S. Air Force will acquire,” Tyler Evans, Vice President of Advanced Programs, explained. Aerojet Rocketdyne will build the motors for these replacement missiles right here in Arkansas.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has been in business for over 100 years and has made significant contributions to our country’s space program and U.S. Military. Such contributions include launching America’s new space age, being a critical supplier for the most advanced military capabilities, pioneering the development of hypersonic technology and providing 75 years’ worth of propulsion systems, large and small, for NASA, the Defense Department and U.S. Military.
Of Aerojet’s 100 years, the company has made Camden one of 13 operating locations for the last 40 years. Since 1979 Aerojet Rocketdyne has made asignificant impact on the regional economy, the Camden community and Arkansas’ job market.
“We do business with 250 Arkansas businesses that are suppliers and in the last several years we have put more than 14 million dollars’ worth of business in the regional economy”, Vice President and CCO, Steven Warren said.
Governor Asa Hutchinson also touched on the role Aerojet Rocketdyne has made in Camden and the entire state. “The Aerospace and Defense industry continue to be one of the top economic drivers in Arkansas and that wouldn’t happen without the incredible workforce and their employers.”
“We’re thrilled to see Aerojet Rocketdyne continue to grow in Camden”, Gov. Asa Hutchinson added, “and we appreciate the investments they make in South Arkansas and in our nation’s security.”
According to the leadership team of Aerojet, programs like the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent do not hold a lifecycle of 2,3, or 4 years. This project like others within the Aerospace and Defense industry is expected to carry on over decades creating long-term sustainable economic development.
“The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent will fuel this Engineering, Manufacturing and Development facility for the next 30-50 years,” COO & SVP Defense, Mark Tucker said.