ATK Major Subcontractor for IRBM Target Rockets
ATK received a $48 million major subcontractor award from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide commercial solid rocket motors for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target rocket program.
With follow-on options ATK believes the contract has a potential value of up to $90 million.
Orbital is the prime contractor for the IRBM program.
ATK's contract includes an initial award of $48 million for the first eight Orion 50S XLT and 50 XLT vehicles to be delivered by first quarter 2013, with contract options for delivery of 14 additional vehicles over the following two years. ATK's Orion solid rocket motors will provide first and second stage propulsion for the target rocket.
"This is an entirely new application for our versatile Orion solid rocket motor family," said Scott Lehr, ATK Aerospace Systems Vice President and General Manager of Strategic and Commercial Systems. "ATK Orion motors are currently used by MDA and Orbital for missile defense and in a variety of Orbital commercial launch vehicles."
The Orion motor product line was initiated in 1988 in a joint venture with Orbital for the development of the winged Pegasus(r) space launch vehicle. Since that time, the motors have been modified for use on a variety of platforms, including Pegasus(r) XL, Taurus(r) and Taurus(r) XL, Minotaur I and IV, Hyper-X. Versions of Orion motors are also used on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Orbital Boost Vehicle.
"There is a significant cost and reliability benefit gained by selecting solid rocket motors that are already in production for other applications," said Lehr. Derived from Orbital's air-launched Pegasus(r) vehicle, the IRBM target is a multi-stage vehicle that will be air-launched from a standard C-17 cargo aircraft via a parachute extraction system, providing MDA with increased flexibility in testing its Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).