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Rolls-Royce to Boost Output for the US Navy

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Rolls-Royce and the Defense Production Act Title III office will invest millions of dollars to upgrade the company's capability and capacity for U.S. Navy ship propulsion components in its facility in Pascagoula, Miss.

The DPA Title III office has already agreed to invest $22 million for equipment, with Rolls-Royce making an additional investment for building improvements, supplemented with support from Jackson County and the state of Mississippi.

Naval components manufactured by Rolls-Royce at Pascagoula include controllable-pitch propeller systems, fixed pitch propellers, and water jets. The components help power the majority of U.S. Navy ships, including aircraft carriers, destroyers and other vessels. The facility is already considered a "Center of Excellence" within Rolls-Royce, and the new investment will further strengthen the company's ability to manufacture propellers and propulsor components for Navy ships. Rolls-Royce will build a new 26,000-square-foot building, with new foundry and machining equipment provided by DPA Title III funding, which will support new jobs and workforce development.

Daniel Rediger, Rolls-Royce, Head of Naval Operations, said, "This community partnership between the Defense Production Act Title III organization and Rolls-Royce, along with Mississippi and Jackson County officials, is a major success for all involved. Rolls-Royce will improve our capability to serve Navy shipbuilding; the Navy will benefit from our added capacity; and Jackson County will add new, highly skilled jobs and a secure future for local industry. It's a win-win-win and we are excited to be a part of this project.

"We also want to recognize the NAVSEA Shipbuilding Industrial Base Task Force for their support through the DPA Title III process, and for recognizing what a vital role we play in the shipbuilding supply chain. Additionally, we would like to thank the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation for helping to coordinate the investment effort with the Jackson County board of supervisors, the Jackson County legislative delegation, and the state of Mississippi. This support and spirit of partnership have been instrumental in the success of the project."

Support from other partner organizations includes land, roadway and other infrastructure improvements, and additional workforce development assistance.

The facility expansion will bring new jobs that are considered crucial to the success of the advanced manufacturing facility. The Rolls-Royce Pascagoula project follows investment in a new 24,000-square-foot building at the company's Walpole, Mass., facility which further demonstrates both the company's commitment to the naval business and the resilience of its wider Defense business despite difficult economic conditions.

In a recent announcement, the Department of Defense said, "This DPA Title III investment will protect and create jobs in the Gulf Coast region hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure critical capabilities are retained in support of U.S. Navy operational readiness."

Barry Cumbest, Jackson County Board of Supervisors President, said, "On behalf of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, I thank Rolls-Royce for their continued investment in our community. This expansion and new capital investment reflects their continued confidence in our workforce, strong business climate, and commitment to supporting our advanced manufacturing industry."

George Freeland, Jackson County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director, said, "Jackson County's winning formula of public-private partnership has yet again produced economic development success. With the modernization and expansion of the Rolls-Royce naval facilities to include casting and finishing of propellers, Jackson County continues to both expand and diversify its economy. This project is the result of a long term partnership between Jackson County, Rolls-Royce, our state legislative delegation, federal delegation and state of Mississippi."

Aug 12, 2020

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