The Sacramento area’s loss will be L.A. County’s gain, when rocket-engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne moves its corporate headquarters to El Segundo, Calif., this summer.
The move puts the company’s top brass in the heart of L.A.’s longstanding aerospace community. Aerospace contractors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Orbital ATK and Northrop Grumman have significant presences in El Segundo, while commercial spaceflight comer SpaceX is based in nearby Hawthorne.
Most of Aerojet’s operational employees will remain behind in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova, with the administrative staffing of the new El Segundo office not expected to exceed 25 persons.
Aerojet (NYSE: AJRD) was formed in 2013 from the merger of Aerojet and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. It has been the largest public company based in the Sacramento area in recent years.
Meanwhile, the move will put top Aerojet execs in useful proximity to the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missle Center at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo.
In February, Aerojet was tapped to participate in a public-private partnership charged with developing a new liquid booster engine — dubbed the AR1 — for use in future military space missions. The AR1 will replace the company’s work force liquid booster engine, the RD-180, which has been used in more than 60 successful rocket launches to date.
Aerojet could see up to $536 million pumped into AR1 development through the pact.
The company also maintains a large Seattle-area manufacturing facility. Aerojet has assigned to that Redmond, Wash., plant much of the work it recently won to develop a new solar-powered electric propulsion system for NASA.