SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), announced it is moving forward with plans to produce America's newest advanced rocket engine, the AR1, in Huntsville, Alabama, resulting in the creation of 100 new jobs. AR1 is the latest engine in development by Aerojet Rocketdyne, America's premier large liquid rocket engine manufacturer.
"Our world-class workforce is very excited to rapidly bring the AR1 engine into production - it will support the Trump administration's efforts to make our military strong again," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. "The AR1 rocket engine is crucial to ensuring America's assured access to space and making U.S. launch vehicles competitive across the globe."
The AR1 is being developed to provide the United States with a new, world-competitive, state-of-the-art engine for launch vehicles and will end American dependency on Russian engines for national security and civil space launches. The company is currently developing and testing AR1 engine systems and is on schedule to deliver a certified engine in 2019 to meet the congressionally-mandated deadline to end U.S. dependence on foreign engine suppliers.
"Given the top-tier talent at the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Propulsion Research Center, the exceptional level of rocket engine expertise at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and at our teammate, Dynetics, and in the local community, Huntsville is the logical choice to locate the new production work on the AR1 engine," added Drake.
Aerojet Rocketdyne's latest Southeast expansion is the third such announcement within the last year. Recently, the company announced the establishment of its Defense Business Unit headquarters and the relocation of its Rocket Shop℠ Defense Advanced Programs division to the "Rocket City." Additionally, the company is expanding its presence at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to accommodate final assembly and hot fire testing of AR1 as well as assembly and hot fire testing of the RS-25 rocket engine that will power NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) beginning in 2018. The RS-25 is a highly reliable engine that produces more than 500,000 pounds of thrust and can be used to power single or multiple missions.
"AR1 capitalizes on proven technology, propellants and an engine cycle that are compatible with existing and future launch systems. In addition, the AR1 rocket engine incorporates the latest innovations, like advanced 3-D printing of rocket engine components, to answer the urgent needs of America's national security in a very affordable way," said Drake.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is the only company in the United States that has developed and produced large liquid-fueled rocket engines that have powered the launches of America's most critical missions, including every launch for the United States Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and every astronaut launched from U.S. soil.
In addition to the RS-25 and AR1 rocket engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne's flight-proven RS-68 is America's most powerful liquid rocket engine currently in production, providing more than 700,000 pounds of thrust to launch national security missions on the Delta IV launch vehicle. Additionally, the company's RL10 rocket engine has powered every upper stage on the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles - more than 100 consecutive successful launches. The RL10 has also been selected by NASA to power the SLS's new Exploration Upper Stage that will send a new generation of American space vehicles to explore deep space and "unlock the mysteries of space" as President Trump stated in his inaugural address.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.