Rockwell International Corp. began construction Friday of an addition to its Seal Beach plant--a facility that will be devoted exclusively to projects related to the nation's embryonic Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars, military project.
The 100,000-square-foot building, believed to be the first in the nation dedicated entirely to SDI work, is expected to open in mid-1988 with about 400 employees. About 75% of the workers will be transferred from existing Rockwell plants throughout Southern California, and the remainder will be new hires.
Rockwell officials said the company currently holds about $350 million worth of contracts for SDI work.
The projects include research on space-based lasers, surveillance and systems to intercept and destroy incoming missiles. Rockwell is the nation's seventh largest Star Wars defense contractor.
The new $14.5-million facility, which will serve as the headquarters for all of Rockwell's SDI work, has been designed with expansion clearly in mind.