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Jax Daily Record Friday, Sep. 6, 201312:00 PM EST

Northrop Grumman files development plans for $80M Hawkeye plant in St. Augustine

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Northrop Grumman Corp. filed plans Thursday for its $80 million Hawkeye manufacturing plant expansion in St. Augustine that is expected to add 400 jobs to the aerospace and defense contractor's Northeast Florida workforce.

Northrop Grumman St. Augustine is an aircraft manufacturing and modifications facility whose current customer is the U.S. Navy. The E2-D Advanced Hawkeye is its anchor program with the Navy.

The company is the largest private industrial employer in St. Johns County and, as an aviation/aerospace manufacturing, is a star player in the region's targeted industry ranks.

St. Johns County approved an economic development agreement in April that shows Northrop Grumman will make an $80 million capital investment and create jobs paying a minimum average of $44,943, higher than the county's average wage of $35,954.

The company submitted plans Thursday to the St. Johns River Water Management District for reviews of the proposed 330,000-square-foot project planned on 23 acres.

Northrop Grumman operates at 5000 U.S. 1 N. at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport north of St. Augustine.

The economic development agreement, approved by the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, states the company had 959 full-time employees in St. Augustine as of March 1.

The commission approved an incentives package of nearly $3 million for the four-year expansion project.

According to its application filed with the St. Johns County Economic Development Agency, Northrop Grumman plans to construct three manufacturing and office buildings.

The 330,000-square-foot project comprises 300,000 square feet for manufacturing and 30,000 square feet for offices.

Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Va., has operated its "Home of the Hawkeye" St. Augustine operation since 1980.

Produce lines include E-2D production; E-2C and F-5 modifications; T-38 wings; EA-18G wing tip pods and gun bay pallets; and the B-2 aft deck

Northrop Grumman says its Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St. Augustine "provides the foundation for current and future production, sustainment and modification activities."

The list of center capabilities includes aircraft paint and strip; aircraft high-power run-up; component overhaul and test; and avionics lab; tool fabrication; a machine shop, weld shop, fiberglass shop and parachute shop; lines and tubing fabrication; automated robotic riveting; and ground support equipment.

Christine McGlade is the vice president of manufacturing operations.

The project team includes the architect, The Austin Co. of Irvine, Calif.; the civil engineer, Zev Cohen & Associates Inc. of St. Augustine; the landscape architect, Zev Cohen & Associates of Ormond Beach; the surveyor, Bradshaw-Niles & Associates Inc. of St. Augustine; and the geotechnical engineer, Universal Engineering Sciences of Jacksonville.

Northrop Grumman announced in March that it was designating five centers of design and integration excellence in support of its aerospace systems sector's manned aircraft, unmanned systems and electronic attack businesses.

The company designated two Aircraft Integration Centers of Excellence — St. Augustine and Palmdale, Calif.

The Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence will be in Melbourne.

The company's Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence will be located in San Diego and an Electronic Attack Center of Excellence will be in Bethpage, N.Y.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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