Northrop Grumman [NOC] said on Oct. 12 that it is expanding its presence in Huntsville, Ala., to support the company’s development of the U.S. Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) under a $13.3 billion contract awarded in September last year.

“The newly renovated facility is located in a revitalized area of the historic Cummings Research Park,” per Northrop Grumman, which said it has more than 2,000 workers in Alabama supporting Pentagon and NASA programs. Northrop Grumman’s headquarters for GBSD is in Roy, Utah.

Other Northrop Grumman programs in Huntsville include the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) and the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

Boeing [BA] is the prime contractor for GMD, while Northrop Grumman has designed GMD upgrades and is the lead provider of target vehicles for GMD testing.

Last March, MDA awarded teams led by 

Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman contracts for initial technology development and risk reduction for NGI. Both companies won contracts that, if all options are exercised, would reach almost $4 billion each (Defense Daily, March 23).

“I’m thrilled that Northrop Grumman will be building on its already large presence in Huntsville while also advancing a strategic national defense priority,” Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, said in an Oct. 12 statement by Northrop Grumman. “By selecting Alabama’s ‘Rocket City,’ Northrop Grumman has picked the ideal location to carry out this important national security mission, and the company’s growth plans represent welcome news for Huntsville and for all of the state.”

U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) may also move to Huntsville from Peterson AFB, Colo., although that decision, announced by former Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett in January, is under review by the Pentagon Inspector General.

On Jan. 13, a week before the end of the Trump administration, Barrett informed Ivey that the Air Force had picked Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal as the preferred location for USSPACECOM’s permanent headquarters (Defense Daily, Jan. 13).

That same day, the House of Representatives impeached then-President Trump for a second time. After a trial that began on Feb. 9, the Senate fell 10 votes short of convicting Trump on Feb. 13.

State officials in Nebraska and Colorado have questioned the Air Force’s decision and contend separately that Offutt AFB, Neb., and Peterson AFB, Colo.–the current provisional headquarters of USSPACECOM–are better USSPACECOM headquarters locations than Redstone Arsenal.

Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis suggested that then-President Trump had overruled the Air Force’s analysis of Peterson AFB as the best location and forced the selection of Redstone Arsenal in an attempt to court Alabama’s congressional delegation, including freshman Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R), ahead of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate for fomenting the mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.