From Staff Reports
ROCKET CENTER, W.Va. — A new $17 million contract with the U.S. Air Force for production of rocket motors at Alliant Techsystems Allegany Ballistics Laboratory will bring work to be performed by existing employees through July 2015, according to ATK officials.
The rocket motor production will benefit AIM-9P Sidewinder customers within the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
Under this program, the U.S. government procures defense articles and services on behalf of one or more foreign customers.
“We see the AIM-9P contract award as a significant international market opportunity and an additional path for sustaining our business as the U.S. Department of Defense spending contracts,” said Pat Nolan, ATK Tactical Propulsion and Ordnance, vice president and site manager for ABL.
The U.S. Air Force at Hill Air Force Base in Utah issued the award.
This ATK rocket motor is used to power the AIM-9P version of the Sidewinder missile, which is a supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile used by a variety of fixed-wing combat aircraft since the 1970s. The AIM-9P Sidewinder was previously exported and is still in use by NATO countries and other international U.S. allies.
ATK manufactured more than 30,000 AIM-9P rocket motors at ABL between 1978 and 1990.
Many international inventories of the AIM-9P Sidewinder are aging beyond the missile’s period of expected use in service.
By restarting the AIM-9P rocket motor production line, ATK and the USAF provide international partners with an affordable solution to update and extend the service life of their defense systems well into the future, while avoiding substantial financial investments in new missiles and aircraft.
“ATK is proud to restart production of the AIM-9P rocket motor to support the needs of our FMS customers,” said Jerry Brode, Tactical Propulsion Market Segment director at ATK’s Missile Products division.
“This rocket motor has a significant history with ATK and has maintained a long-standing position within our portfolio of tactical Sidewinder and air-to-air rocket motor production lines,” Brode said.
“ATK is committed to the ongoing success of our international allies," said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of the Missile Products Division within ATK’s Defense Group. “We are honored to provide our customers around the globe with an affordable and efficient solution to reinvigorate and sustain the service life of their missile defense systems.”
ATK specializes in advanced manufacturing technologies for a variety of programs supporting current and future U.S. industrial base needs in advanced fuzing and integration, conventional munitions assemblies, solid rocket motor propulsion and advanced material structures.