Will it be too late because they've gotten too big to fit into their yet to be built facility?
By the time Kratos RT Logic moves into its expanded northern Colorado Springs complex late next year or early 2019, the satellite communications equipment provider likely will have to be planning another addition or building if it continues to grow at its current rate.
The company broke ground Tuesday on the 91,000-square-foot, three-story expansion, which will allow Kratos RT Logic to consolidate employees from leased space in two other locations and accommodate its rapid growth - the company had added 65 employees in less than 10 months. John Monahan, senior vice president of satellite communications products for Kratos Technology & Training Solutions and president of Kratos RT Logic, said the company plans to finish all of the addition except for two-thirds of the third floor initially and complete the rest in the next two years.
"There has never been a better time to invest in space," Phil Carrai, president of Kratos Technology & Training Solutions, said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion. Kratos Technology & Training Solutions is the parent company of Kratos RT Logic and a subsidiary of San Diego-based defense contractor Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc.
"We are investing millions of dollars in Colorado Springs to develop new products and services," Carrai said, "because we can attract great talent, there is great talent in Colorado Springs and we have a great opportunity to provide the kinds of environment where we can attract and retain the best talent."
Kratos employs 327 in Colorado Springs and expects it likely will add another 23 by the time it moves into the addition at 12515 Academy Ridge View in the Northgate development on the far north side of Colorado Springs; the company would add many more employees if it continues to grow at the current rate. The expansion, which more than doubles the size of the 60,000-square-foot headquarters built for RT Logic when it was an independent company in 2005, will be able to accommodate 450 employees.
Kratos officials began planning in May 2016 for the addition begun Tuesday and sought city approval five months later. Based on that schedule, the company would need to begin planning its next expansion well before it moves into the completed addition since it likely will fill the complex about a year after it opens.
Equipment designed and produced by Kratos RT Logic is integral to operating the GPS satellite network, generating detailed images from weather satellites and the Hubble Space Telescope and maintaining communications between U.S. astronauts and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Monahan said. The Colorado Springs complex also houses Kratos' Network Operations Center, which operates the company's worldwide radio frequency sensor network that monitors, detects interference and tracks a variety of data about commercial and government satellites.
Kratos RT Logic also is a key player in protecting satellite ground networks from hacking and other cyberattacks and produces a line of products designed to operate and secure ground stations for small satellites.
The company was started as Real Time Logic in 1997 by five engineers to design and develop telemetry equipment and software used by military and civilian government agencies for testing, launch and operation of satellites. Integral Systems, a Maryland-based satellite control systems provider, acquired Real Time Logic in 2002 and was acquired by Kratos in 2011.