ROCKET CENTER, W.Va. — Defense contractor Northrop Grumman plans to keep 1,100 jobs at its Mineral County site and create as many as 500 additional positions, according to information released Wednesday by the Justice administration.

The moves are being supplemented by state economic incentives and will take place over the next five years.

“Northrop Grumman’s continued commitment to investing in West Virginia is incredible news,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a news release. “They are truly a world-class organization and a wonderful partner for our state. Their decision to expand the Rocket Center facility affirms what I’ve been saying all along, that West Virginia is the perfect place to do business.”

Plans are to enlarge the capabilities of the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center. The facility had been operated by contractor Orbital ATK. Northrop Grumman recently purchased the company.

“Our Rocket Center team has engineered and manufactured technologies to support our military for more than 70 years,” said Mike Kahn, Northrop Gumman vice president and general manager, defense systems, said in a news release. “We are extremely pleased that the State of West Virginia will be supporting investments in both infrastructure and in our workforce to ensure we can continue to deliver the capacity and cutting-edge technology that our military services need to execute their missions for many years to come.”

The company took part in a March 22 job fair in Charleston hosted by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s office and the city of Charleston.

“I am proud of our West Virginia workforce, and these new jobs prove that West Virginians are the hardest working in the nation,” Manchin, D-W.Va., said at the time.

Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company, is the largest defense contractor in West Virginia and has the third largest manufacturing workforce in the state.

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