Aerojet Rocketdyne is moving closer to the completion of its engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) facility in Camden, Arkansas, US.

The company has achieved a construction milestone with the installation of a steel vacuum chamber casting bell.

The casting bell has been relocated from Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Sacramento facility in California, US.

It will be used to manufacture large solid rocket motors for hypersonics, intercontinental ballistic missile and Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) programmes. Motors produced at the new facility will measure approximately 470in long with a 100in diameter.

Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen Drake said: “The installation of the casting bell is a major milestone as Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to prepare for national security programmes, including the airforce’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent programme and the Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor programme.

“I would especially like to thank state and local leaders from the great state of Arkansas whose efforts have been critical to our ongoing expansion here in Camden.”

The decision to expand the Southern Arkansas facility near Camden was taken in August 2018.

Construction on the 17,000ft² facility started in April last year.

Expansion of Camden operations is part of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s ongoing partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Calhoun County and the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development.

As part of the partnership agreement, Camden operations expansion is expected to generate more than 14 job opportunities by 2021. It also includes plans to improve the infrastructure with an investment of $50m.

The new Aerojet Rocketdyne $15.5m EMD facility is expected to open in the middle of this year.

Last year, the company was selected by Northrop Grumman to work for the GBSD programme.