SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today the successful static test firing of a Guided Oriole rocket system produced by its Rocket Support Services (RSS) business unit located in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This test firing was the culmination of an internal program funded by Kratos to incorporate a thrust vector control system and flight termination system into the Oriole rocket system. Kratos' strategic plan is focused on unique and differentiated National Security related technology, solutions and product offerings, including C5ISR, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), Unmanned Systems and Cyber Warfare.
The Oriole rocket motor and the thrust vector control system are manufactured by Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) under contract to Kratos, and the static test firing was conducted by ATK at its Rocket Center, West Virginia, facility. All previously disclosed Oriole rocket efforts have been outfitted with a static nozzle control system which, for certain safety and other considerations, limited the Oriole rocket to address certain unique and specific National Security related threats and missions. To date, nineteen Oriole rockets have been launched in the static or fixed nozzle configuration: an original demonstration flight, seventeen as low-cost targets for testing of the U.S. Navy sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and one by NASA as part of a scientific research mission.
By incorporating the new thrust vector control system and an associated flight termination system, this new, Guided Oriole variant will be able to serve as a low-cost BMD target for multiple additional ballistic missile threat scenarios, including land-based defensive systems, AEGIS Ashore, THAAD, PAC-3 and other non-disclosable threats. With this new capability, the Oriole rocket system portfolio will be available and qualified for significantly increased use as a low-cost BMD target and for more sophisticated national security related, scientific and technology research missions.
Dave Carter, President of Kratos' Defense Engineering Solutions division, stated, "The Oriole rocket system has proven to be a very robust and versatile rocket system supporting technology research and missile defense target programs. The successful static test firing clears the way for the first flight of the Guided Oriole, which is planned to occur early next year."
Eric DeMarco, Kratos' President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very pleased with the successful static test firing of our newest and most capable Guided Oriole rocket system. This was one of the largest internally funded programs in Kratos, and this very successful test is a great achievement for the entire team as we complete this effort. The Oriole rocket system has served well as a low-cost target vehicle for the Aegis Program, BMD programs and certain other programs, and with the addition of this new and unique guidance capability the Oriole will be poised to similarly serve the broader ballistic missile defense and specialized national security related defense community."
Date: Apr 25, 2012