Hoeven Announces Northrop Grumman Strategic Alliance

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Northrop Grumman is committed to entering a strategic alliance with key Grand Forks partners and working toward an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) agreement that would make the global aerospace and defense technology company a tenant in the air base’s new high-tech complex. Hoeven met Thursday with Thomas Vice, Northrop Grumman’s Corporate Vice President and President of the company’s Aerospace Systems Sector, who told the senator that the company is committed to joining the partnership.

In November, Hoeven brought Vice and other Northrop Grumman senior leadership to Grand Forks to see firsthand the opportunities Grand Forks and the region have to offer the company, which manufactures the Global Hawk. At the time, the senator said, “Grand Forks is already the premier northern hub for UAS technology and training, and this new project could form the nucleus of a dynamic new technology complex within it.”

The company is working with the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee (BRIC), University of North Dakota (UND), UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF) and Northland Aerospace Foundation to forge the new partnership with the objective of finalizing an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) with the Air Force at the Grand Forks base.

Under the EUL, which the Air Force is currently developing, land that the Air Force identifies as unused would be leased to a local economic development group that will invest in programs and facilities that support the missions performed at the base. In this case, Grand Forks stakeholders intend to lease land from Grand Forks Air Force Base for the purpose of supporting the base’s unmanned aerial systems activities, including the Air Force’s Global Hawk and the Predator missions performed by the, U.S. Air Force, North Dakota Air National Guard and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

“As a leader in the aerospace industry, it is fitting that Northrop Grumman is joining with UND, the leading school of aerospace in the nation, and our other partners to create, in essence, a technology park on the Grand Forks Air Force Base,” Hoeven said. “The Grand Forks area is growing its economy with a special focus on UAS and aeronautics; Northrop Grumman is benefiting from the unique assets available at Grand Forks Air Force Base; and the Air Force is gaining valuable support for operations and activities at the base. Northrop Grumman will provide top-notch expertise in the unmanned aerial systems field, and Grand Forks Air Force Base will provide the perfect location to put the company’s vast knowledge and innovation to good use. This is the kind of innovative partnership that will help us continue to develop the Grand Forks region as the premier hub for unmanned aerial systems technology.”

As a precondition to completing an EUL agreement, the Air Force requires a local developer to identify an “anchor tenant” that will develop the land. Northrop Grumman is working toward becoming that anchor tenant for Grand Forks. Having formed a strategic alliance, the company will work through the details and plans to make additional announcements about specific activities it will bring to Grand Forks at the Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit in Grand Forks on May 30.

Senator Hoeven is a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.