Northrop’s Unmanned Systems Center Expects More Gov’t Contracting Work

northrop-Grumman_BLUENorthrop Grumman‘s unmanned aircraft systems facility in Moss Point, Miss. is expected to bring growth, investment and jobs to the area, according to the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation’s executive director, the Mississippi Business Journal blog reported Monday.

JCEDF’s George Freeland said the $30 million Unmanned Systems Center also brings economic diversity because it adds to the shipbuilding and petrochemical industries in the region, Ross Reily reports.

“Diversification is critical to any successful economic development,” said Freeland, as the report notes a projected $51 billion worldwide market value for unmanned systems by 2018.

The 101,000-square-foot production center was established at the Jackson County Aviation Technology Park in 2006 for assembly work on various Northrop unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the Fire ScoutGlobal Hawk and Triton.

Reily writes the U.S. Navy has ordered 14 MQ-8C Fire Scouts and the first delivery is expected in the next few months.

Northrop spokesman Warren Comer has also cited more potential orders for the Global Hawk and Triton surveillance aircraft.

“It would mean steady employment at Moss Point,” he said.

“We feel confident that we’ve got enough work going on there that the workforce is going to see some steady work over the next year.”

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