Call it the bomber boom.
A Northrop contract to build top-secret B-21 stealth bombers has brought more than a thousand new employees to the Mojave Desert.
The contract for 100 of the bat-winged aircraft is estimated to run about $80 billion.
The Los Angeles Times says Northrop's Palmdale plant has 3,000 workers and expects that to grow to 5,200 by late 2019. It also plans to add a million square feet of space to the plant.
Military projects have reinvigorated Southern California's aerospace industry, which shrank in the decades after World War II.
Northrop's plant also builds drones for the Air Force and the Navy and part of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.