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ATK offers replacement solution for Russian made RD-180 to U.S. Air Force

09/23/2014 | By ATK

ATK has provided the U.S. Air Force an American-made commercial solid rocket solution as a replacement for the RD-180 Russian-made, first-stage engine of United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle.
ATK Offers Solid Solution to U.S. Air Force's RD-180 Replacement Request

"ATK's solid rocket propulsion solution provides a cost-effective, reliable solution based on advanced technology," said Blake Larson, president of ATK's Aerospace Group. "I am confident our solution will meet the capabilities of the current RD-180 engine and provide added performance if required."

The development of new technologies has led to innovative design improvement with solid rocket motors, resulting in higher performance and increased reliability and affordability. Over the past seven years, ATK has incorporated those new technologies in the development of six new solid rocket motors – some developed in less than two years.

"By combining our extensive experience with new technologies, we have provided commercial customers with low-cost solutions that progressed from design to flight qualification within months," said Larson. "Using a similar approach, ATK's propulsion solution will provide the U.S. Air Force with an RD-180 replacement rapidly and at a highly competitive cost."

Solid rocket motors are optimal for first-stage performance as they provide high lift-off thrust, allowing for more payload margin. They also require less ground and launch infrastructure, resulting in fewer launch scrubs.

Due to unmatched reliability, solid propulsion is used in every stage of America's strategic defense arsenal. New solid rocket motor technology has the capability to provide a smooth lift for payloads, which is especially important when launching critical payloads, sensitive satellites and crews.

This technology has resulted in decades of successful launches within the government and commercial industries. ATK has provided more than 1,900 commercial and more than 14,000 government solid rocket motors and integrated stages, all domestically built.

Manufacturing and testing of ATK's solution for the RD-180 replacement will take place within the United States using tooling and infrastructure already in place across the country.

"We recognize and congratulate the Air Force and ULA on their tremendous launch record," said Larson. "We are pleased to offer this solution to provide low-cost assured access for current and future National Security Space launch requirements."

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and outdoor sports and recreation company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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