Rocket Motor Test Demos Advanced Technologies for USAF Strategic Deterrence
- Orbital ATK's Medium-Class Upper Stage Motor Provides New Capability to Air Force
The U.S. Air Force and Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA) successfully conducted a ground level static fire test of the Medium-Class Stage III (MCS-III) solid rocket motor on November 5. This test was a demonstration of advanced technologies being studied for use in the forthcoming Air Force Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) system.
Orbital ATK successfully conducted a ground level static fire test of the Medium Class Stage III solid rocket motor at their facility in Promontory, UT. This was a demonstration test of advanced technologies being studied for use in the forthcoming U.S. Air Force Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) system. (Photo: Business Wire)
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“The new advanced technologies demonstrated are important stepping stones for the future GBSD program,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “This test of new propulsion technologies is a significant achievement for our company and the Air Force.”
Orbital ATK developed the high-performance upper stage motor for the MCS-III program. The objectives of the static fire test were to demonstrate an advanced strategic grade propellant, validate feasibility of motor thrust reversal/thrust termination system in a graphite epoxy case, and demonstrate a performance enhancing, vectorable nozzle with electro-mechanical thrust vector control. Preliminary test results indicate the motor performed within predictions.
The Air Force plans to replace Minuteman III propulsion elements with a modern propulsion system as part of the GBSD program. The Air Force is preparing for the upcoming development work by maturing and demonstrating available technologies in a medium-class solid rocket motor, applicable to the GBSD propulsion systems.
Orbital ATK has a successful history of designing, fabricating, integrating, testing and delivering more than 3,800 motors in direct support of Department of Defense missions. Orbital ATK’s medium-class stage motors could support multiple missions such as GBSD, Conventional Strike Missile and Operationally Responsive Space.
The MCS-III program, which is managed by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, is conducted under the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Demonstration/Validation Propulsion Application Program funding to support the demonstration of technologies applicable to future strategic programs.
Source : Orbital ATK, Inc. - view original press release