According to a company statement, a search is under way to identify a specific location, encompassing Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The company plans to complete the search by spring and be in the new location by the summer of 2011.
A company spokesman said the move was necessary to better serve their customers. The new corporate office is expected to include about 300 people.
Northrop Grumman will continue to do research, development and manufacturing in California, the statement said. About 30,000 employees, a quarter of Northrop Grumman's worldwide employment, work in the state.
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Its Aerospace Systems sector is headquartered in Redondo Beach, and each of the company's other four sectors have major facilities in the state.