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Lockheed Martin And ATK Demonstrate Complete Booster System For Submarine Intermediate Range Missiles

ATK conducted the development, manufacturing and successful testing of this two-rocket-motor propulsion subsystem in just over a year and showed significant production savings.
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CL (SPX) Jan 16, 2007
Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems have successfully completed the Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM) Booster System Demonstration for the U.S. Navy. The team successfully met all technical, cost and schedule objectives, demonstrating the availability of this near-term, affordable solution for prompt global strike.

The team has delivered the final missile system trade study to the Navy, completing the booster system demonstration contract, the first phase in a low-risk research and development path toward a deployable system. Potential follow-on phases could include flight test demonstrations with launcher integration and underwater launch tests.

In the booster system demonstration, Lockheed Martin and ATK demonstrated cost-effective, reliable and producible solid-propellant rocket motor technologies for a proposed conventional missile that would travel at supersonic speed to reach intermediate-range targets within 15 minutes. The proposed missile would be deployed on Ohio-class SSGN guided-missile submarines, offering the war fighter an extremely accurate, no-notice prompt global strike capability from an undetectable, highly mobile platform that is on station around the clock.

"Our team not only developed and tested the motors in record time, but also identified cost-reduction strategies for motor design and operation with no sacrifice in performance," said Tory Bruno, vice president, Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "This demonstration gives the Navy an important foundation for further development of this potential new capability."

The development, manufacturing and successful testing of this two-rocket-motor propulsion subsystem took place in just over a year and showed significant production savings, demonstrating a quick and affordable response to a military need.

"As hostile threats grow, these studies are critical in helping our Nation's military develop the next-generation high speed strike weapons systems," said Charlie Precourt, vice president, Advanced Strategic Programs, ATK Launch Systems Group. "The SLIRBM demonstration validated that development for this missile can be streamlined, reducing development time and costs to provide an affordable weapon - we look forward to continuing this cooperation with the U.S. Navy."

The trade study incorporated the results of motor tests. Two static test firings of the prototype two-stage propulsion system were conducted at an ATK facility in Promontory, Utah. In July 2006, the team successfully test fired a modified first-stage ATK Orion 32-7 motor for 50 seconds at maximum thrust.

In August 2006, the team successfully test fired a modified second-stage ATK Orion 32-4 motor for 40 seconds at maximum thrust. Both tests demonstrated the integrated operation of the motors with an electromechanical thrust vector control system that steers the motor's nozzle by responding to commands issued by an avionics system.

ATK integrated the thrust vector control system, which was supplied by Moog Inc. to ATK; and, Lockheed Martin developed the avionics system.

The U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Programs Organization awarded the 16-month, $9.2 million contract in 2005. Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor, systems integrator and missile system trade study lead, performed program management and engineering at its Sunnyvale, Calif., facility. ATK, Lockheed Martin's partner and subcontractor, developed the rocket motor technology, including the booster motor and nozzle.

ATK is a $3.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 22 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at

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