Northrop Grumman moving headquarters to Washington area

LOS ANGELES — Northrop Grumman Corp., the nation's second-largest defense contractor and the last remaining major aerospace firm with headquarters in Los Angeles, said today it will move its corporate office to the Washington, D.C., area.

In a blow to Southern California, the company said it was engaged in a search to identify a specific location within the Washington region, including the District, Maryland and Virginia. It plans to complete the search by spring 2010 and open the new corporate office by summer 2011.

"As a global security company with a large customer base in the Washington, D.C., region, this move will enable us to better serve our nation and customers," said Wes Bush, chief executive officer and president.

The new corporate office will include about 300 people. Although the company is moving some corporate staff, California remains a significant location for Northrop's research, development and manufacturing, the company said, noting that it will have about 30,000 employees, a quarter of Northrop Grumman's worldwide employment, in California.