Northrop Grumman to design, build bombers in Brevard

Company may bring up to 1,800 jobs to Melbourne airport

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Northrop Grumman, officially announced on Thursday as the company behind "Project Magellan," will design and build next-generation bombers in Melbourne.

[READ:  In-depth info about the B-2 bomber]

Governor Rick Scott unveiled details about the project, billed as one of the Space Coast's biggest economic development projects ever, via Twitter.

"I am happy to announce that @northropgrumman is continuing to expand in Florida, & could create up to 1,800 jobs," Scott tweeted.  "This announcement is a testament to our success in creating an opportunity economy - we must continue to build on this success."

"This is huge," U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said. "The development and assembly of America's long range strike aircraft in Melbourne is a new beginning for the Space Coast."

The next-generation bomber will eventually replace the Northrop-built B-2 bomber.

State legislators in March approved the state incentives for what was then called "Project Magellan."  Northrop Grumman will receive nearly $21 million in state incentives.

The project designated for Melbourne International Airport marks one of the largest single economic development projects approved during Scott's tenure as governor.

The project will occur in multiple phases.

The first phase will begin with a new 220,000-square foot office building and the addition of 300 jobs. That will be followed up with the construction of additional facilities totaling 500,000 square feet and 1,500 additional jobs that could pay an average of $100,000 per year.

"This is a huge victory for families on the Space Coast," Scott said.

Based on a combination of jobs and the payroll figures, the project represents the nation's largest economic development project in the last five years, local economic development officials said.

Melbourne was in the running against San Antonio and other communities in Florida, officials said.

This is the latest major investment by Northrop Grumman in Brevard.

Last year, the aerospace giant said that it would build a Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence at the airport, bringing 1,000 jobs to the county. Work began last summer.

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