Motor programme gets a boost

Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems have recently test-fired a second-stage booster motor under the Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM) Booster System Demonstration for the US Navy.


Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems have test-fired a second-stage booster motor under the Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM) Booster System Demonstration for the US Navy.

The modified second-stage ATK Orion 32-4 booster motor was fired for 40 seconds at maximum thrust at an ATK test facility in Promontory, Utah. The Orion 32-4 motor used high-performance solid rocket fuel.

In a similar test in July, the team successfully test-fired a modified ATK Orion 32-7, the first stage for the prototype two-stage propulsion system.

Both tests demonstrated the integrated operation of the motor with an electro-mechanical thrust vector control system that steers the motor’s nozzle by responding to flight control and steering commands issued by an avionics system. Moog developed the thrust vector control system, which was integrated by ATK; Lockheed Martin developed the avionics system.

In the SLIRBM Booster System Demonstration, Lockheed Martin and ATK are demonstrating cost-effective, reliable and producible solid-propellant rocket motor technologies for a proposed conventional missile.

The demonstration is the first phase in a low-risk development path for a proposed new missile that would travel at supersonic speed to reach intermediate-range targets within 15 minutes.

It would be deployed on the US Navy’s Ohio-class SSGN guided-missile submarines. An SSGN-based SLIRBM would offer the military an accurate global strike capability from an undetectable, highly mobile platform that is on station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.