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ATK Demos Start-Stop-Start Rocket Engine (Dec. 29)

MINNEAPOLIS --- ATK has for the first time successfully ignited, terminated the burn, and then re-ignited a solid fuel rocket motor. The Variable Area Nozzle static firing test was conducted by ATK Tactical Systems at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W. Va. under contract with the U.S. Army.

John L. Shroyer, president, ATK Tactical Systems, said the rocket motor’s start-stop-start capability was developed to support the U.S. Army’s objective to extend the range of next-generation anti-tank missiles.

“With this test, ATK achieved a significant milestone in advanced solid propellant rocket motor technology,” said Shroyer. “The new motor provides the Army the added flexibility and improved range it requires for next- generation missile systems. We look forward to working with the Army to transition this key technology to next-generation systems that give U.S. soldiers a decisive battlefield advantage.”

In addition to demonstrating the start-stop-start capability of the pintle nozzle, the test motor used ATK’s less sensitive (Class 1.3) Minimum Smoke propellant. The propellant, when loaded in a composite case, significantly reduces the risk of an accidental explosion from impact or high temperature exposure, allowing for more flexible transportation and storage options.

ATK Tactical Systems conducted the test as part of the Controllable Thrust Propulsion program under a contract to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Engineering and Development Center Propulsion and Structures Directorate at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. The program objective is to provide energy management solutions to increase the range and flexibility of next-generation tactical missiles, including the Joint Common Missile (JCM), Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM), and Non-Line Of Sight (NLOS) programs.

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 12,500 people and has three business groups: Precision Systems, Aerospace, and Ammunition and Related Products

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ATK Successfully Conducts Its First-Ever Start-Stop-Start Solid Rocket Motor Test