North Dakota continues to demonstrate that it is intent on becoming a warm and welcoming home for the ever developing UAS industry. In a significant development Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) recently announced that it officially opened its new facility dedicated to fostering autonomous systems and other capabilities at the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park near Grand Forks, North Dakota. The facility will serve as a nucleus for research and development, pilot, operator and maintainer training along with operations and mission analysis, and aircraft maintenance.
Representatives for Senators John Hoeven, Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer along with dignitaries, joined with United States Air Force personnel, Red River Valley advocates, community leaders and several Northrop Grumman executives to cut a ceremonial ribbon to open of the new building.
“We are delighted to officially begin operations here at Grand Sky cementing our leadership in the development and use of autonomous systems in partnership with North Dakota’s UAS community,” said Janis Pamiljans, corporate vice president and president Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The important work performed at Grand Sky will support the evolving needs of our customers while advancing research and development of our autonomous systems capabilities for today and the future.”
Northrop Grumman is the park’s anchor tenant. The new, advanced 36,000 square foot building was initially completed late last year and the first employees began work shortly thereafter. The company is also planning construction of a hangar to take advantage of the Park’s access to the adjacent Grand Forks Air Force Base, home to a squadron of RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude long endurance autonomous aircraft.
“This facility is the latest example of Northrop Grumman’s commitment to the Red River Valley,” continued Pamiljans. “We’ve long been a supporter of UAS and other activities in this region including our relationships with area colleges and universities and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.”
Northrop Grumman’s Grand Sky facility is the second major Northrop Grumman facility in North Dakota. The company has a manufacturing site in New Town, which has been in continuous operation for over 45 years.