Orbital Sciences Corp. announced a major expansion Monday to its rocket research, engineering, manufacturing and testing facilities in Chandler.
The expansion will involve a three-building complex next to its plant on South Price Road between Dobson and Queen Creek roads.
The company also said it will renew its lease on its current building for 11 more years from W.P. Carey & Co.
The moves will ensure that the Dulles, Va.-based company will remain a major corporate tenant in the Ocotillo area of Chandler for at least the next decade, said CEO David W. Thompson.
"Since Orbital first established a presence in Chandler 20 years ago, when we acquired a small company called Space Data, we have been the beneficiary of a very business-friendly environment," he said. "We are most appreciative of the city's responsiveness to our development proposals for this project."
Orbital's current 355,000-square-foot building will be expanded by about 13,000 square feet and will undergo upgrades to suit the company's operations.
The company said it will also break ground soon nearby on a new "build-to-suit" campus to be developed by Gilbane Development Co.
The first phase of that project will include a new 82,000-square-foot building where Orbital will house about 330 employees.
Ultimately, the expansion will comprise up to 232,000 square feet in three new buildings.
In all, the complex will create a campus that will accommodate nearly 2,200 employees.
Orbital currently employs about 1,300 full-time and part-time employees - plus 150 on-site contractors - at its Chandler operations.
Orbital said the expansion is being driven by strong demand for the company's launch vehicles used by the U.S. government to deploy and test missile defense systems and to launch scientific and national security satellites.