LOCKHEED MARTIN-DEVELOPED BOOST VEHICLE-PLUS PROGRAM COMPLETES INITIAL QUALIFICATION OF ATK ORBUS 1A
DENVER, Colo., 28-SEP-05 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today that the first phase of qualification testing at Alliant Techsystems (ATK) (NYSE: ATK) has been successfully completed for the ORBUS 1A, the second- and third-stage solid rocket motor for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA’s) Boost Vehicle-Plus (BV+) program.
The ORBUS 1A motor supplied by ATK was successfully fired this month one week ahead of baseline schedule. Preliminary results from the static test performed at ATK’s Elkton, Md., facility indicate that the motor met all pre-test performance requirements.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company was selected as the BV+ subcontractor in 2003 by The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), the MDA’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) prime contractor. In January 2004 the BV+ booster was validated with a successful first flight. BV+ is one of two booster designs for GMD interceptors, a dual approach that assures capability and flexibility in the event of an enemy ballistic missile launch. The booster can be deployed as a long-range interceptor in Alaska, California, or a future site as needed for defense against a long-range ballistic missile. The BV+ booster will carry an exoatmospheric kill vehicle toward a missile’s predicted location in space to destroy it through force of impact.
In 2004, Lockheed Martin competitively selected ATK as its supplier for BV+ stage-two and stage-three solid rocket motors to replace previous supplier Pratt & Whitney, which exited the solid rocket motor business. Final ORBUS 1A qualification testing is scheduled for late 2005 and will involve at-altitude static firing. BV+ delivery activities will resume this year with ATK beginning motor deliveries early in 2006.
“Teamwork with ATK, Lockheed Martin and our Boeing GMD customer along with solid engineering and attention to mission success assured a smooth transition to ATK from Pratt & Whitney and made this test firing a resounding success,” said Russell Reavis, vice president, Targets & Boost Vehicles, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “BV+ is now just months away from returning to vehicle assembly and delivery for the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.”
“We are on plan and meeting all milestones to complete production of the five deployment-configuration boosters and three integrated flight test vehicles with ATK-supplied ORBUS 1A motors,” said Roger Rieger, director, Boost Vehicle-Plus & Long Range Target Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
Three BV+ boosters completed between 2003 and 2004 with the Pratt & Whitney second- and third-stage solid rocket motors will be retrofitted with the ATK motors.
Lockheed Martin performs BV+ program management, engineering and production at its facilities in Denver, Colo., Sunnyvale, Calif., and Courtland, Ala.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.