Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, has launched its Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the company said.
The target was launched in support of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) flight test program for MDA.
The IRBM target was air-dropped from the cargo hold of a C-17 aircraft and lowered by parachutes before igniting and performing its mission of simulating an intermediate range ballistic missile threat. The company´s air-launched IRBM system provides MDA with increased flexibility in testing its Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). These tests are a critical element of the US missile shield.
The company´s IRBM target program currently has a contract ceiling of USD 1.4 billion, including all options. A total of sixteen vehicles are now under contract through 2019 with options for additional vehicles.
The IRBM target uses the company´s Orion family of solid rocket motors, originally designed for the air-launched Pegasus space launch vehicle. Other Orbital ATK rockets that use Orion motors include the Minotaur family of vehicles and the Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range interceptor for MDA´s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. Employees from Orbital ATK´s facilities in Huntsville, Alabama; Chandler, Arizona; and Magna and Clearfield, Utah, contributed to this successful test.
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. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 13,000 people in 18 states across the US and in several international locations.