Aurora West Virginia Awarded Global Hawk Contract

01 October 2001

Aurora West Virginia, based at Harrison County's Benedum Airport, has been selected by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems to supply parts for the military's Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

""This is another success story for Aurora West Virginia and for the high- technology manufacturing industry in North Central West Virginia. The work of the region's aerospace sector continues to be recognized with contracts important to the development of cutting-edge vehicles and technologies for the U.S. Armed Forces,"" Byrd said.

The RQ-4A Global Hawk UAV is a next-generation airborne reconnaissance system being developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Air Force. Aurora is a high-technology company involved in UAV design and development, manufacturing, and flight controls. It operates facilities in Manassas, Va., and in Harrison County.

""West Virginia high-tech workers continue to help the American military maintain its strategic and technological dominance. Their efforts for the Global Hawk aircraft and for other military vehicles are vitally important to our national security,"" the Senator explained. The contract from Northrop Grumman calls for Aurora to build the composite parts for the vehicle's 44-foot-long fuselage. Aurora has previously supplied the vertical tail surfaces for all seven Global Hawks built to date.

""This was a competitive procurement with intense competition,"" said Dr. John S. Langford, Aurora's President and CEO. ""We are delighted that Aurora was selected to provide five out of five work packages put out for bid. Global Hawk is an important national defense program with a solid long-term future. Participation in this program is one of Aurora's strategic priorities."" To prepare for the Global Hawk UAV contract, Aurora has made several improvements to its Harrison County facility, where the work will be done.

""This program will expand our composites work considerably,"" said Langford. ""We are counting on the training programs provided by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) to train the new staff that will be hired to support this contract."" RCBI, located in Huntington, Charleston, Rocket Center, and Bridgeport, provides workforce development and training programs that are designed and customized to meet the needs and demands of manufacturers. Aurora anticipates that a dozen new employees will be hired to perform work on the Global Hawk UAV contract.

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