General Dynamics plans big Healdsburg expansion

[caption id="attachment_51555" align="alignright" width="405" caption="General Dynamics plans to spend $1 million preparing this new Healdsburg location for production. (Credit: Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty)"][/caption]

HEALDSBURG -- General Dynamics plans to nearly double the size of its Healdsburg Operations Facility this summer to accommodate rapidly growing workforce and production needs.

It leased 30,000 square feet at 190 Foss Creek Circle and is accepting contractor bids for converting the 20,000 square feet of storage space for manufacturing, half of which will be a class 100,000 clean room, and the rest will become offices, according to General Manager Rich Schroeder. The goal is to start moving in equipment and initially 50 personnel by the end of June. The anticipated cost of improvements is $1 million.

"We've doubled in size in the past year, and we can't fit in the existing building anymore," Mr. Schroeder said.

The workforce in the 37,000-square-foot facility at 511 Grove St. has increased from 75 to 150, and now the employees are working in hallways and conference rooms, he said. He's planning to hire another 40 by year-end.

The Healdsburg facility ( is part of the Florida-based General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems business unit, which is in the Combat Systems Group of Virginia-based General Dynamics.

Part of what's driving growth is a recent deal to design and produce very small, lightweight electromagnetic control actuators on next-generation ship-based missiles that slam into and disable incoming short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles, according to Mr. Schroeder. The contract, announced Jan. 30, is for actuators on Aerojet’s 10-nozzle Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System on the Block IIA upgrade to the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptor.

Late last year, the Missile Defense Agency awarded Arizona-based Raytheon Co. a $241 million contract modification to continue design and development of the longer-range, more advanced IIA version of the SM-3, a joint project of the U.S. and Japan. The new version is set to enter service in 2018.

General Dynamics was involved in design and manufacturing for a current version of the interceptor.

The Healdsburg expansion allows the operation to move manufacturing into its own space, and devote the existing building to design and prototyping, according to Mr. Schroeder. The SM-3 project will remain in the existing building.

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