Company s Partnership with U. S. Air Force Focused on New
Intermediate- and Large-Class Space Launch Vehicles
New Launchers to Use Company s Industry-Leading Solid Rocket
Propulsion Technology and Other Modular Elements
DULLES, Va.Apr. 3, 2017--
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that it has made important progress over
the past 18 months in developing advanced solid rocket propulsion and
other technologies to be used in a new generation of intermediate- and
large-class space launch vehicles. Through a combination of internal
investment and government funding from an Air Force contract awarded in
late 2015 by the Space and Missile Systems Center s Launch Systems
Directorate, the company s Flight Systems Group recently completed
design reviews, facility upgrades and tooling fabrication, and has now
begun early production of development hardware for its Next Generation
Launch (NGL) system.
Artist conception of Orbital ATK's Next Generation Launcher on pad 39B at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo: Business Wire)
The company s modular NGL rocket family will be capable of launching a
wide variety of national security payloads, as well as science and
commercial satellites that are too large to be launched by its current
fleet of Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares space launch vehicles. The NGL
vehicles will operate from both east and west coast launch facilities
and will share common propulsion, structures and avionics systems with
other company programs, including its smaller space launch vehicles as
well as missile defense interceptors, target vehicles and strategic
The NGL program is a great example of how industry and government can
work together to develop an American launch system to support national
security space launch requirements, said Scott Lehr, President of
Orbital ATK s Flight Systems Group. Orbital ATK is well-positioned to
introduce an intermediate- and large-class family of launch vehicles by
leveraging the strengths of the merged company to achieve low-cost
assured space access for current and future national security payloads
and other satellites.
Through commonality of hardware and other economies of scale, Orbital
ATK s proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S.
Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy,
NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on
these programs over a ten-year period.
Over the past 18 months, Orbital ATK has successfully completed critical
design reviews for major elements of the company s solid propulsion
stages, along with preliminary vehicle-level and launch site
infrastructure reviews. The company has also refurbished a
60,000-square-foot production building, including installation of
automated tooling, cranes and other equipment to enable the manufacture
of large-diameter composite-case rocket motors. Recently, the company
completed the manufacturing of prototype motor test articles to be used
in verification activities this summer.
The Orbital ATK NGL team, which now numbers several hundred engineers
and technicians, has made tremendous progress since late 2015. Building
on this work, we are looking forward to providing the Air Force and
other customers with a highly-reliable and cost-effective launch system
within the next four years, said Lehr.
The next phase of the program is expected to commence when the Air Force
awards Launch Services Agreements in early 2018, which would entail full
vehicle and launch site development, with work taking place at company
facilities in Promontory and Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler,
Arizona; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
About Orbital ATK
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 12,500 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Trina Patterson, 801-699-0943
Public and Investor Relations