April 5, 2010 |
NASA has taken the next small step toward reshaping its future in space travel by awarding five contracts worth as much as $250 million to aerospace companies for researching and developing propulsion systems. Although NASA hasn't laid out how it will use such technology, officials from the contract winners -- three of which are based in California -- say they envision their work being used on a broad range of missions: sending research equipment deep into space; building thrust engines for robotic Mars landers; or developing boosters for spacecraft to explore far-flung asteroids.
February 22, 2010 |
The multibillion-dollar competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force is expected to kick off this week as the Pentagon spells out its latest requirements to replace its aging fleet of Eisenhower-era aircraft. But there are already signs that the competition could be derailed once again. Century City-based Northrop Grumman Corp., one of the two contenders, has threatened to withdraw its bid, accusing the Air Force of writing specifications that favor its rival, Boeing Co. The latest specs for the tankers, which refuel warplanes in flight, are due out this week -- possibly as early as Tuesday.
January 7, 2010 |
It didn't take very long for Wesley G. Bush, Northrop Grumman Corp.'s new chief executive, to make his mark. On his very first day on the job, Bush announced that he was uprooting the company's headquarters from Los Angeles -- where it has been since its founding in 1939 -- and relocating it to the Washington, D.C., area. The move, he said, was made to bring the nation's second-largest defense contractor closer to its key customer: the U.S. government. But the timing of the stunning announcement also sent a decisive message to the company's top brass that under Bush's new leadership it would no longer be business as usual, analysts said.
January 5, 2010 |
In a blow to Southern California, Northrop Grumman Corp. said it would relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles -- leaving the region that gave birth to the aerospace industry without a single major military contractor based here. The company said it would move its corporate staff to the Washington, D.C., area by summer 2011 to be closer to its key customer, the U.S. government. Northrop's announcement was seen as a bitter pill for the much-battered regional economy, which has suffered a series of high-profile corporate defections in recent years.
January 4, 2010 |
Even with its decision Monday to move its headquarters out of Los Angeles, Northrop Grumman Corp. will remain one of Southern California's biggest private employers, with about 27,000 people on its payroll locally. The aerospace giant's major facilities here include robotic-aircraft units in Rancho Bernardo and Palmdale, a satellite division in Redondo Beach and a factory in El Segundo where major components of the F/A-18 fighter jet are built. Northrop also operates a number of classified research and development centers for the government in various undisclosed locations.
December 2, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. has stepped up its threat to pull out of a $35-billion competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. In a letter to the Pentagon's top acquisition official Tuesday, Northrop President Wes Bush said the government's "request for proposal" that outlines requirements for the aircraft favors a bid by its rival, Boeing Co. If the terms are not changed, Northrop might not enter the competition to build 179 tankers, he said. "I must regrettably inform you that, absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid," Bush said.