Rockwell formed a Strategic Defense center.

Rockwell International said the El Segundo facility was created in response to a rapid buildup in government “Star Wars” business. “In recent years, Rockwell had combined sales of about $500 million worth of SDI-related work under contract, and we estimate this could double within the next two years,” Rockwell President Donald R. Beall said. The new center initially will employ only several dozen officials but could develop into a new business group like Rockwell’s existing aircraft and electronics groups. On another issue, Beall said he expects President Reagan to approve building a new space shuttle orbiter. The production of another orbiter also must be authorized and funded by Congress. “I think we will need another orbiter,” Beall said. It was the first time that a Rockwell official has publicly stated a position on the issue.