( PROMONTORY, Utah, July 17, 2006 ) - Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin announced today that they have successfully test fired a first-stage booster motor under the Submarine Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (SLIRBM) Booster System Demonstration for the U.S. Navy.
The modified ATK Orion 32-7 booster motor, which is part of a prototype two-stage propulsion system, was fired for 50 seconds at maximum thrust at an ATK test facility in Promontory, Utah. The test demonstrated the integrated operation of the motor with an electro-mechanical thrust vector control system that steers the motor's nozzle and a Lockheed Martin-developed avionics system that issues flight control and steering commands to the thrust vector control system. The motor uses hazard class 1.3 solid propellant, a low-cost, high-performance rocket fuel.
In the SLIRBM Booster System Demonstration, Lockheed Martin and ATK are demonstrating affordable, reliable and producible solid-propellant rocket motor technologies for a proposed conventional missile. The demonstration is the first phase in a low-risk development path for a proposed new missile that would travel at supersonic speed to reach intermediate-range targets within 15 minutes, providing a Prompt Global Strike capability. The proposed missile would be deployed on the U.S. Navy's Ohio-class Trident SSGN guided missile submarines.
"This integrated test is an important step forward in developing this potential new capability for the Navy," said Michele Smith, program manager, SLIRBM Booster System Demonstration, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. "It also represents success in identifying cost reductions in design and operation with no sacrifice in performance."
"ATK's solid rocket motor legacy is critical to designing a system that is low-cost, yet gives SLIRBM the performance it needs to successfully carry out its vital mission for the U.S. Navy," said Charlie Precourt, vice president, Advanced Strategic Programs, ATK Launch Systems. "Our unmatched expertise in solid propulsion allowed ATK to design, develop and test the first-stage motor in only 12 months."
The contractor team next will conduct a static test firing of a modified ATK Orion 32-4 second-stage motor and complete a missile system trade study.
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, performs program management and engineering at its Sunnyvale, Calif., facility. ATK, Lockheed Martin's partner and subcontractor, is developing the rocket motor technology, including the booster motor and nozzle.