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Lockheed Martin-ATK Complete Successful SLIRBM Rocket Motor Test

By | September 11, 2006

      Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Alliant Techsystems [ATK] successfully test fired a second-stage booster motor last month under the Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM) Booster System Demonstration for the Navy, the companies reported.

      This is the second static test firing conducted this summer under the demonstration, according to ATK. The modified second-stage ATK Orion 32-4 booster motor was fired Aug. 3 for 40 seconds at maximum thrust at an ATK test facility in Promontory, Utah. The Orion 32-4 motor used high-performance solid rocket fuel, the company said.

      In a similar test last month, the team successfully test fired a modified ATK Orion 32-7, the first stage for the prototype two-stage propulsion system. Both tests demonstrated the integrated operation of the motor with an electro-mechanical thrust vector control system that steers the motor’s nozzle by responding to flight control and steering commands issued by an avionics system, according to ATK.

      Moog Inc. [MOG-A] developed the thrust vector control system, which was integrated by ATK. Lockheed Martin developed the avionics system.

      Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, systems integrator and missile system trade study lead. ATK is developing the rocket motor technology, including the booster motor and nozzle.

      “Our unmatched expertise in solid rocket propulsion allowed ATK to design, develop and test the first-stage and second-stage motors in only 13 months,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president, Advanced Strategic Programs, ATK Launch Systems Group. “Development and test of a missile booster set of this size and complexity in this time frame is unprecedented. Our team needed only a small fraction of the development time usually required in a traditional development program. This performance sets the new industry standard.”

      In the SLIRBM Booster System Demonstration, Lockheed Martin and ATK are demonstrating cost-effective, reliable and producible solid-propellant rocket motor technologies for a proposed conventional missile. The demonstration is the first phase in a low-risk development path for a proposed new missile that would travel at supersonic speed to reach intermediate-range targets within 15 minutes. The proposed missile would be deployed on the Navy’s Ohio-class SSGN guided-missile submarines, according to ATK.

      An SSGN-based SLIRBM would offer the war fighter an extremely accurate, no-notice prompt global strike capability from an undetectable, highly mobile platform that is on station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the company said.

      The Navy awarded the 16-month, $9.2 million contract in 2005.

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