Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumann Logo.

Founded: 1939
Head Office: West Falls Church, Virginia, United States
Chairman, President and CEO: Wes Bush
Revenue (2017): 23.8 billion
Employees (2017): Approximately 70,000

Northrop Grumman is a US defence and aerospace titan. In addition to a number of both commercial and military aerospace, naval and defence systems, hardware and vehicles, the company develops, manufactures and operates a number of launch vehicles.


The company was founded in 1939 as Northrop Aircraft in Hawthorne California by John K. Northrop. In 1985, the company was reincorporated under the name Northrop Corporation and in 1994, the company bought Grumman Aerospace, the manufacturer responsible for the Apollo Lunar Module, and became known as Northrop Grumman.

Over the next two decades, Northrop Grumman would purchase a number of smaller defence and aerospace manufacturers. With each new purchase, the company’s offering became more and more diverse offering hundreds of unique systems and components to thousands of customers worldwide. Today, Northrop Grumman employs 85,000 people are the fifth largest arms trader in the world.

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

In September 2017, Northrop Grumman purchased rocket and missile manufacturer Orbital ATK. The deal was worth $9.2 billion dollars. The purchase amount included $7.8 billion in cash and Northrop Grumman accepting $1.4 billion in corporate debt.

Following the FTC confirming the purchase early June 2018, all Orbital ATK assets were absorbed into a new division within the defence giant’s portfolio, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. Orbital ATK assets absorbed by the new Northrop Grumman division included the Antares, Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles. Additionally, the development and operation of the Cygnus spacecraft, which is used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, was also absorbed by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.

In addition to the operational vehicles within Orbital ATK’s portfolio, the aerospace manufacturer was developing a next-generation launch vehicle, the OmegA. Development of the OmegA will continue under Northrop Grumman supervision.