Barron Beneski (703) 406-5528
Public and Investor Relations
ORBITAL AWARDED $26 MILLION CONTRACT BY U.S. NAVY FOR COYOTE SEA-SKIMMING TARGET VEHICLES
-- New Order Pushes Total Number of Production and Test Units to 96 Since
Beginning of Program --
(Dulles, VA 21 September 2012) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) today announced that it was recently awarded a production contract for seven Coyote supersonic sea-skimming target (SSST) vehicles and related equipment by the U.S. Navy. The latest order for Orbital's Coyote target program is in addition to existing production contracts for the Mach 2.5-capable, low-altitude target missile used by the Navy to test fleet self-defense systems against a threat-representative target. This latest SSST order is the sixth full-rate production contract following a highly successful five-year development and flight test program. The total value of the new contract is $26.4 million.
"Orbital is proud of its role in supporting the Navy's ship defense efforts through the development, production and operation of the highly reliable Coyote Supersonic Sea Skimming Target. The Coyote system has proven to be a capable and cost effective threat simulator for our customer's critical mission to help protect our deployed naval forces," said Orbital's Coyote Program Manager Keven Leith.
The Coyote program is managed by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), based at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. The target missile design integrates a four-inlet, solid-fuel ducted-rocket ramjet propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 18 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. Ramjet supersonic takeover speed is achieved using a decommissioned Navy MK 70 solid rocket motor for the first stage. Rail-launched from naval test and training ranges, the highly maneuverable Coyote achieves cruise speeds of over Mach 2.5 following the separation of the MK 70 first-stage booster. The range of the target vehicle system is approximately 50 nautical miles at altitudes of less than 20 feet above the sea surface.
Orbital has also designed and carried out a test-flight of a "high-diver" variant of the Coyote missile, during which the vehicle achieved an altitude of 35,000 feet, traveled at Mach 3.3 and approached its target point at a 40-degree downward angle.
Coyote Program Overview
Orbital was awarded an initial development contract in 2000 to meet the Navy's requirement for an affordable SSST system to simulate high-speed anti-ship cruise missiles for fleet training and weapon systems research, development, test and evaluation. Orbital and the Navy completed the development phase of the program with five successful test flights between 2003 and 2005.
Since that time, Orbital has received multiple orders from the Navy under low-rate initial production and full-rate production contracts. Total orders for the program currently stand at 96 units (including the early development and test vehicles), of which 77 have been delivered to the customer. Orbital has also supported 20 consecutive successful operational or test launches, including a recent mission for the French Navy, the first flight of the Coyote system for an international customer.
Orbital is developing and manufacturing the Coyote vehicles at its launch vehicle engineering and production facility in Chandler, Arizona. Orbital's major subcontractors include Aerojet Corporation for the solid-fuel ducted-rocket motor and Goodrich Sensors & Integrated Systems for the vehicle's fin actuation system.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.
More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
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