Soaring demand sees rocket specialist take off at new site

02/01/24 | Tenant News

Rapid expansion at a long-established business specialising in spacecraft rocket engine and propulsion systems manufacturing and testing has prompted a move to state-of-the-art premises.

Nammo has continued to be based at Westcott Venture Park but relocated to a new UK HQ at Building 6040 within the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Zone

The 18,200 sq ft manufacturing and production space is situated on the former solid rocket motor testing area of Westcott and was the first building to be developed within the allocated Enterprise Zone area of the Park.

Nammo has undertaken an extensive fit-out of their new building to incorporate a clean room almost four times the size of the old facility, a larger manufacturing area and offices including conference rooms.

Adam Watts, Business and Strategic Development Manager of Nammo Space, said: “Our new facility enables us to take on more complete propulsion systems work which we were not able to do before.

“It also means we can create more jobs to meet ongoing business growth and can combine all resources into one building which is much more efficient.”

The business has been based at Westcott for about 70 years and also occupies the J & F rocket testing sites and manages the National Space Propulsion Test Facility, also within the Enterprise Zone, on behalf of the UK Space Agency

Nammo, headquartered in Norway, employs more than 2,700 staff across 28 sites in 12 countries supplying military and civilian customers.

The UK operation currently employs 80 across two sites and is recruiting for a further eight positions and will be looking to grow further.

Nammo UK was formed in 1946 as the Rocket Projectile Establishment under the Ministry of Supply at Westcott. By the mid-1990s it was a well-established rocket research and development site for solid, liquid and gaseous rocket engines.

For the last 30 years it has supplied LEROS engines, thrusters and fluidic valves for space missions to planets including Mercury, Mars, the Moon and Jupiter. It also provides critical engine technology for modern telecoms, global positioning systems and defence-based satellite applications.

More recently Nammo has become a propulsion subsystems designer and integrator adding pressure regulation systems and propulsion systems to its product lines.

Nammo’s involvement with the engines for the European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA Mars Sample Return mission is already well known.

Other recent projects include:

  • Testing the first flight model of Nammo’s recently developed LEROS 4 high thrust main engine for Firefly Aerospace for their Blue Ghost Lunar Lander mission.
  • Designing, building and testing a throttleable 7000+ Newton engine called RELIANCE for the Argonaut Lunar Lander alongside the ESA for expeditions to the Moon.
  • Working with Astroscale on the delivery of propulsion system for the ADRAS-J mission to remove space debris from orbit and the ELSA-Mproject to safely capture and retire multiple satellites from orbit.
  • Providing the world’s first electronic pressure regulator for the Space Inspirespacecraft with Thales Alenia Space.

Adam added: “Our business is expanding in all areas and there are already plans being drawn up to expand this facility to cope with further growth.”

At Westcott, Nammo has qualified for £55,000 of rates relief over the next three years.

Matt Peachey, Head of Enterprise Zone Development at Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Nammo’s expansion is another milestone in the development of a world-leading space cluster here in Buckinghamshire. We are pleased to support Nammo through the Bucks Enterprise Zone.

“This new facility will not only bolster Nammo’s UK propulsion capabilities but also generate highly skilled job opportunities in the county. It will be important to foster a strong local talent pipeline that can benefit from fantastic career opportunities at companies like Nammo.”

Anyone interested in working for Nammo can find their current job openings on their LinkedIn page @NammoUK, here you will be directed to contact ukrecruitment@nammo.com.

 


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