LOS ANGELES -- Northrop Grumman Corp., the last big-name aerospace company headquartered in Southern California, is headed out of town this week.
The nation's second-largest military contractor, founded in 1939 by visionary aircraft designer Jack Northrop, is officially moving its main office to Falls Church, Va., on Monday. It is a milestone for the corporation that along the way absorbed big names like TRW Inc., Litton Industries Inc., Westinghouse Electronic Systems and Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical.
Today, the company is an industry giant with about $35 billion in annual sales, building such things as sophisticated satellites, high-flying spy drones and the ghostly B-2 stealth bomber. While 300 members of its corporate staff will depart, it still will have about 30,000 jobs in Southern California and remain one of the region's largest private employers.
The company joins an exodus of military companies -- including Lockheed Martin Corp., Science Applications International Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. -- that have abandoned Southern California since the mid-1990s in favor of headquarters nestled nearer to decision makers in Washington.