Northrop Grumman has begun construction on a new 113,000ft² missile integration facility in West Virginia, US, to support long-term growth in the field of advanced weapons development.

The new facility is expected to open in 2024.

It will expand Northrop Grumman’s capacity within the defence industrial base, ensuring the delivery of existing and future weapons for the warfighters.

Northrop Grumman Defence Systems president and corporate vice-president Mary Petryszyn said: “Our new missile integration facility is a factory of the future, designed to affordably produce high quantities of missiles to meet increasing customer demand.

“Northrop Grumman’s investments in manufacturing capacity, digital processes and emerging technologies translate into a rapid deployment of capability into the field.”

Once open, the facility will have the capacity to support the annual production of up to 600 strike missiles.

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According to the company, the production operations in the facility will begin with the second batch of the advanced anti-radiation guided missile extended range (AARGM-ER) low-rate initial production (LRIP).

Apart from the production of a particular type of missile, the facility can easily be modified to support the integration of existing and new missile programmes.

Furthermore, this new facility is expected to have an expanded manufacturing workforce skillset, which will add to the manufacturing and engineering jobs in the area.

Northrop Grumman is investing in digital manufacturing to reduce cost, optimise quality and boost the production capacity and duration to quickly deliver missiles to the warfighter.

Last year, the company started the construction of a new Hypersonic Capability Centre in Elkton, Maryland, to provide full lifecycle production of hypersonic weapons.

The centre is expected to start operating in 2023.