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ICBM Advanced Technology Rocket Motor Aces Test

Image credit: U.S. Air Force
by Staff Writers
Clearfield UT (SPX) May 16, 2006
Northrop Grumman announced Monday it has successfully completed a static test firing of a Minuteman III ICBM technology-demonstrator motor. The test firing - conducted May 2 at a facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California - was a joint effort by Northrop Grumman and its principal teammate Alliant Tech Systems.

The firing proved the advanced propulsion concepts being developed for the U.S. Air Force's Minuteman III stage-one motor will work and can greatly improve performance, range and affordability, the company said in a statement.

Designed and built by ATK at facilities in Promontory, Utah, the stage-one technology demonstrator rocket motor fired successfully to completion and met all test objectives regarding thrust, insulator/nozzle erosion and thrust vector control, the statement continued. Initial results from the test matched expectations for rocket-motor performance and integrity.

The company developed and manufactured the motor under the Air Force's Propulsion Applications Program, one of more than 50 projects managed by Northrop Grumman for the ICBM arsenal. The Air Force intends to maintain the missile force through 2020.

Other efforts are focusing on the missile's guidance and reentry systems, aimed at reducing risks associated with potential future improvements, and continually challenging the technical prowess of the ICBM workforce, the statement said.

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Northrop Grumman

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