MINNEAPOLIS --- ATK (Alliant Techsystems) has been awarded a $25.4 million contract from General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products to produce the MK 90 propellant grain used in the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), formerly known as the Hydra 70 rocket system.
ATK Ammunition and Powder, one of five operating units within ATK's Ammunition and Related Products Group, will produce the APKWS propellant at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP) in Radford, Va., which it operates for the U.S. Army. The company has produced this propellant at RAAP since 1985.
The APKWS comprises a family of 2.75-inch rockets both guided and unguided, and is the most widely used helicopter weapon system in the world today. The rockets are fired from a number of rotary and fixed-wing platforms, including the U.S. Army Apache and U.S. Marine Corps Cobra helicopters, the U.S. Air Force F-16 Falcon fighter, and the combat aircraft of over 15 nations throughout the world.
"APKWS propellant production represents a significant portion of the business base at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant," said Pat Nolan, president, ATK Ammunition and Powder. "This is a key program for the plant and underpins our focus on the U.S. armed services worldwide. APKWS rockets played significant roles in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts."
Nolan said the APKWS program, coupled with several other energetic programs and ATK's partnership with the Army, form the foundation of the Radford plant's transformation initiative to meet the Department of Defense's future energetic needs.
Planned enhancements to the APKWS program include guidance, warhead, and propulsion components to increase lethality and provide a full compliment of guided and unguided rockets in the future.
ATK is a $2.2 billion aerospace and defense company with strong positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, precision capabilities, and civil and sporting ammunition. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 12,000 people and has three business groups: Aerospace, Precision Systems, and Ammunition and Related Products.