DULLES, Va., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) has awarded the company a $5 million contract for a ballistic missile target launch vehicle to support operational testing of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system. The target launch vehicle to support the PAC-3 test exercise was awarded through an existing option on USASMDC's Critical Measurements Program (CMP) contract with Orbital. The CMP is managed at USASMDC by the Ballistic Missile Targets Joint Project Office with sponsorship from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO).

For the PAC-3 test exercise, Orbital will design, produce, integrate and launch a two-stage, guided suborbital rocket. Orbital's Launch Systems Group, which is responsible for the company's space and suborbital launch programs, will carry out the program activities at its engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona. The launch is planned for March 2002 from Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. The target launch vehicle is based on Orbital's Critical Measurements Program-3B (CMP-3B) launch vehicle which completed a successful mission for USASMDC from Wake Island in February 2001. The launch vehicle consists of two modified, surplus Minuteman SR19 rocket motors with two Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) motors as boost-assists for stage one.

"We are extremely pleased that USASMDC selected Orbital to perform the target launch services task order for this PAC-3 test exercise," said Mr. Ronald J. Grabe, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Orbital's Launch Systems Group. "We have supported previous Patriot test exercises with our STORM target vehicle at White Sands Missile Range and look forward to expanding our role with the longer range CMP target vehicle for the Wake Island-to-Kwajalein mission requirements."

Orbital's Launch Systems Group is a leading supplier and operator of suborbital boosters used by U.S. Department of Defense customers. In addition to the U.S. Army's Patriot and CMP programs, Orbital supplies ballistic target vehicles for BMDO's National Missile Defense program and the U.S. Navy's Theater Wide program and suborbital rockets for the U.S. Air Force's Quick Reaction Launch Vehicle program. Orbital is also providing Vandal target launch services and is developing the GQM-163A Supersonic Sea Skimming Target to test U.S. Navy cruise missile defense systems.

Orbital is one of the world's leading manufacturers of low-cost space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles and sensors and electronics systems. Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide wireless data communications and high-resolution Earth imagery services to customers around the world.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com .

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5000, or
beneski.barron@orbital.com; or Investors: Timothy Perrott, 703-406-5997, or
perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/
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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5000, or beneski.barron@orbital.com; or Investors: Timothy Perrott, 703-406-5997, or perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/