Alan Radecki/Northrop Grumman
The Northrop Grumman Firebird surveillance aircraft can can listen in on phone conversations, use high-powered radar and shoot live video footage as it flies at 30,000 feet. Northrop Grumman plans to close its Dominguez Hills engineering facility.
The closure is part of the company’s plans to move jobs to five centers nationwide because of expected defense budget cuts. Northrop said it plans to move the bulk of the 750 jobs to other company facilities within California or out of state to Alabama, Maryland and Virginia over two years. The work done at Dominguez Hills includes engineering jobs that support the command control and communication of aircraft.
“Given the current budget environment, it is imperative that we act to enhance future performance, innovation and affordability for our customers,” said CEO Wes Bush in a statement.
It is possible that some positions at the Dominguez Hills facility will be eliminated, according to Northrop spokesman Randy Belote. He said the company is still in the process of figuring out how many positions are needed to support its other facilities.
The company designated five "centers of excellence" involved in the consolidation. There will be a center for manned aircraft design in Melbourne, Fla., an unmanned systems center in San Diego, a center on electronic attack in Bethpage, N.Y., as well as centers for aircraft integration in Palmdale, Calif. and St. Augustine, Fla. In some cases, jobs will be moved to the centers. For example, two programs from New York and Florida will move to the unmanned systems center in San Diego.
Northrop has about 25,000 employees in California and it expects that level to remain the same after the transition, said spokesman Mark Root. He said the number of jobs that will move to the San Diego facility wasn’t available.
“Some facilities are going to shrink and some are going to close. Others are going to grow,” Root said. “The net effect on our (California) workforce is going to be neutral.”
Root said Northrop will start transitioning jobs out of the Dominguez Hills facility this year. Northrup took over the facility in 2002 after it acquired TRW Inc., which developed military and civil space systems.
The company is also closing its Norwalk, Conn. facility that specialized in electronic systems, where 275 people are employed.