Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) was awarded a USD 47 million contract from the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Systems directorate for the development of a solid rocket propulsion system prototype to support the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program for national security space missions, the company said.
The Air Force award includes options for additional scope, valued at up to USD 133 million. The company will also contribute additional development funds to the program.
Orbital ATK´s award is designed to advance proven domestic propulsion technologies and includes prototype development. Work on the program will take place at Orbital ATK´s facilities in Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; and Chandler, Arizona; from 2016 to 2019.
Due to itsreliability, solid propulsion is used in nearly every space launch vehicle, both domestic and international, and plays a key role in US strategic and missile defense systems. New solid rocket motor technology has the capability to provide a smooth lift for payloads, which is especially important when launching sensitive satellites and crewed missions.
Solid propulsion has supported decades of successful launches for government and commercial programs. Orbital ATK has provided more than 16,000 US-built solid rocket motors and integrated stages for government and commercial customers.
In December, Orbital ATK received another contract from the Air Force to perform a Booster Propulsion Technology Maturation effort. Under this USD 3 million contract Orbital ATK will complete studies to advance technologies that enhance performance and safety while reducing cost in support of the next generation booster.
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,000 people in 18 states across the US and in several international locations.