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Northrop Grumman Continues Streak of Space Systems Growth in 2022 

By Rachel Jewett | January 26, 2023
Northrop Grumman's headquarters. Photo: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman’s headquarters. Photo: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman continues its streak of growth for the Space Systems segment, postings its third year in a row of double-digit growth for the segment. 

The company posted its full year 2022 results on Thursday, reporting total sales of $36.6 billion, up 3% compared to 2021. 

The Space Systems segment reported sales of $12.3 billion in 2022, up 16% over 2021 sales. Operating income for the segment was $1.2 billion, with an operating margin of 9.4%. 

Space Systems led the company in both sales and growth. The segment beat Aeronautics systems in sales and was the highest-earning segment in 2022.  Other than Space, only Mission Systems grew in 2022, reporting 3% growth. Aeronautics Systems and Defense Systems saw sales declines of 6% and 3%, respectively. 

This continues a double-digit growth streak for the Space Systems segment. Last year, Northrop grew Space Systems sales 21%, and in 2020 sales were up 18% over 2019

Within the segment, Northrop said higher sales came from both Launch & Strategic Missiles and Space. Launch & Strategic Missiles sales increased with $454 million increase on Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), and a $449 million increase on Next Generation Interceptor (NGI), as well as higher volume on the GEM 63 rocket motor program in support of Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

The Space business area saw a $320 million increase with the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport and Tracking Layer programs, higher volume on restricted programs and a $134 million increase in sales on Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) for NASA. 

Northrop Grumman provided guidance for 2023, expecting company-wide sales of $38 billion to $38.4 billion, and Space Systems sales in the mid-$13 billion range. 

“The Northrop Grumman team continues to deliver strong financial and operating performance, further positioning our company for near and long-term growth. We’re providing differentiated solutions for our customers’ highest priority missions, driving a strong global
demand signal for our products and maintaining a healthy backlog,” said Kathy Warden, chair, CEO, and president.”

The company’s backlog stood at $78.7 billion at the end of 2022, compared to $76 billion at the end of 2021.

“We expect Space Systems to remain our fastest-growing business. Sales are projected in the mid-$13 billion range, up over $1 billion from 2022 levels, with GBSD and NGI contributing nearly half of the growth, and the rest coming from our broad space portfolio,” Northrop CFO Dave Keffer said on a Thursday call with investors.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated Northrop Grumman’s 2020 year-over-year sales growth.