MINNEAPOLIS --- ATK Alliant Techsystems has received contracts worth over $97 million to produce first, second, and third stage Orion motors for Orbital Sciences Corporation. Work under the two-year contracts will be performed at the ATK Thiokol Propulsion Bacchus Plant in Magna, Utah.
The contracts call for the delivery of 23 Orion flight sets in 2004 and 2005, along with additional tooling to support the higher production rates planned during the two-year period.
Three partial flight sets are designated for use on Minotaur space launch vehicles that Orbital produces under the U.S. Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital Program. Another flight set is slated to launch a Pegasus XL vehicle. The remaining 21 motor sets are designated for use on the missile defense interceptor boost vehicle configuration that Orbital is developing and manufacturing for The Boeing Company, which is the prime contractor for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
Orbital’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense Orbital Boost Vehicle (GMD OBV) is a three-stage system based on flight-proven hardware that has flown 45 times on missions for Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur space launch vehicles.
“These new orders will increase the production rate for Orion motors, primarily in support of President Bush’s mandate for the accelerated GMD deployment,” said Mark Beus, director, Orion Motor Programs. “The Bush administration goal calls for 10 deployed vehicles this year and in 2005.”
ATK is already on contract for several Integrated Flight Tests (IFTs) for GMD. These new orders add four more IFTs and three Test Beds to the total orders, as well as fourteen Capability Enhancement motor sets for deployments at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
“We are pleased to increase production rates for Orion motors and are proud to play a vital role in the nation’s defense,” stated Jeff Foote, group vice president, Aerospace.
Silo-launch capability of Orbital’s GMD OBV was demonstrated earlier this year. ATK also supports another GMD booster design, the GMD Boost Vehicle Plus (BV+), for Lockheed Martin, which uses ATK’s GEM 40 VN (vectorable nozzle) motors.
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 12,600 people and has three business groups: Precision Systems, Aerospace, and Ammunition and Related Products.