Northrop Grumman Corp. announced July 12 that it has signed an agreement to purchase a building in Falls Church, Va., to serve as its new corporate headquarters. The decision was made after a “comprehensive” search process, the company said in a press release.

Northrop Grumman said in January it would be relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles to the Washington area. The company currently employs about 40,000 people in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

Operations at the new site are expected to begin in the summer of 2011 with employees who now work at the company’s Los Angeles and Arlington, Va., offices, the press release said.