Northrop Grumman's facility in Redondo Beach, California. Credit: Northrop Grumman

WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman on Feb. 26 warned its California-based employees who work on space programs of potential layoffs, sources told SpaceNews.

A company spokesperson on Feb. 27 confirmed that the company has filed a WARN notice with the California Employment Development Department, “and shared information with our employees about potential workforce reductions.”

WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notices are notifications sent by employers to employees regarding potential layoffs or business closures. By state law, large employers have to notify employees in the event of business closings or layoffs.

The company would not confirm how many employees would be affected. According to sources, about 1,000 employees based at Northrop Grumman’s Space Park in Redondo Beach, California, would be impacted.

“We are working to match impacted employees with existing job openings and opportunities across Northrop Grumman,” the spokesperson said. “This is ongoing, and a higher number of employees will receive WARN notices than may ultimately be impacted.”

Space Force program termination

Northrop Grumman has approximately 100,000 employees nationwide, with more than 550 facilities in 50 U.S. states and in over 25 countries worldwide.

The Space Park campus in Redondo Beach is a historic site that has been integral to major space achievements since opening in 1961. The company’s website says the campus has 47 buildings where about 7,000 employees work on space systems.

Sources said workers at the Space Park were informed of the WARN notice at an all hands meeting Feb. 26.

Northrop Grumman has not specified what is driving the job cuts. During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call Jan. 25, executives reported double-digit top-line growth in its $14 billion space portfolio, with sales up approximately 14% for the year. 

However, chief financial officer Dave Keffer noted some shifts in space budget priorities by government agencies. “A lot of our customers are having to address budget prioritization, particularly as it relates to 2025 and beyond,” he said.

Bloomberg News earlier this month reported that the U.S. Space Force canceled a Northrop Grumman multi-billion dollar classified military communications satellite program due to cost and schedule overruns.

Northrop Grumman also has taken a charge on its contract to build a module for NASA’s lunar Gateway, bringing its losses for the year on that program to $100 million.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...