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Leading Defense Contractor Moves HQ To Virginia

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says the new Northrop Grumman headquarters will create more than 300 new jobs.
Elliott Francis
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says the new Northrop Grumman headquarters will create more than 300 new jobs.

By Elliott Francis

One of the world's largest defense contractors, Northrop Grumman, is moving its headquarters from California to Virginia. The shift means more jobs and tax revenue for the state.

Officials in Virginia, Maryland and the District had been trying for several months to persuade the aerospace firm to move to their jurisdiction. All presented incentive packages, with D.C. reportedly offering slightly more than the $12 to $14 million handed over by Virginia's Governor, Bob McDonnell.

Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Gruman says in the end it wasn't all about money but more about being close to one of the firm's biggest contractors, the Pentagon.

"The decision really came down to several factors. As I mentioned, the proximity and real estate played a big role in it, but the economics also played a big role."

More than 91 percent of Northrop Grumman's $35 billion dollar a year in revenue comes from the U.S. government; most of that is with the Pentagon.

In addition, more than 300 jobs will be created and according to Governor McDonnell, there's a tax windfall in the deal for the residents of Virginia.

"We think it's going to bring $30,000 in tax revenue to the state over the next decade and we'll have a return on our investment very quickly," says McDonnell. "Over the long run this will be a marvelous investment that we made."

The site for the the new home office is still under wraps, with locations in Arlington, Faifax and Alexandria under consideration. The new corporate headquarters is expected to open sometime in 2011.

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