ATK to provide solid propulsion systems

ATK has been awarded $71.5 million by Lockheed Martin to produce solid propulsion systems for all three stages of the US Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile.

ATK (Alliant Techsystems) has been awarded contracts worth $71.5 million from Lockheed Martin Space Systems to produce solid propulsion systems for all three stages of the US Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM).

Under these contracts, ATK Thiokol Propulsion, Promontory, Utah, will continue production of Trident II D5 propulsion systems through 2007. Work will be performed at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Promontory, Clearfield, and Magna, Utah.

The Trident II D5 is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertially guided FBM with a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles.

All three stages of the Trident II are made of lighter, stronger, stiffer graphite epoxy, whose integrated structure provides considerable weight saving. The missile’s range is increased by an aerospike, a telescoping outward extension that reduces frontal drag by about 50 percent.

The pressure of expanding gas within the launch tube launches trident II. When the missile attains sufficient distance from the submarine, the first stage motor ignites, the aerospike extends and the boost stage begins. Within about two minutes, after the third stage motor kicks in, the missile is travels in excess of 20,000 feet (6,096 metres) per second.