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Defense manufacturer breaks ground on state-of-the-art Chandler facility

CHANDLER, Ariz. — A major aerospace and defense technology firm broke ground on its new campus Wednesday.

Orbital ATK is putting up two new buildings at Price and Willis roads, near the Chandler Fashion Mall. The Vehicle Launch Division headquarters will total 617,000 square feet.

Rich Straka, the division’s vice president, said the facility should open in September 2019.

“This facility is going to be a state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facility,” he said at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “(It’s) going to be able to house a little over 2,000 employees.”

Straka said Orbital hopes to move all current Chandler employees to the new buildings soon after they open. He also said the company is planning to hire at least 250 more people by the end of 2018.

Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny was there for the groundbreaking.

“It’s thousands of jobs — (and) hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs,” Tibshraeny said. “This is a win for the local economy, it’s a win for the state economy, and it’s really a win for the nation.”

Orbital ATK also has offices in Mesa and Gilbert. The additions will give the company a footprint of more than 892,000 square feet in Arizona.

The company’s website says it manufactures aerospace and defense technologies. The main products are launch vehicles and related propulsion systems for rockets.

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