ATK awarded $97 million rocket motor contract

ATK has received contracts worth over $97 million to produce first, second, and third stage Orion rocket motors for Orbital Sciences Corporation.

ATK (Alliant Techsystems) has received contracts worth over $97 million to produce first, second, and third stage Orion rocket 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 US 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 defence interceptor boost vehicle that Orbital is developing and manufacturing for Boeing, which is the prime contractor for the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA).

Orbital’s Ground-based Midcourse Defence Orbital Boost Vehicle (GMD OBV) is a three-stage system based on 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.’