Alliant Techsystems

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Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Type Public company
Traded as NYSEATK
Industry Aerospace, defense, and sporting
Founded 1990, spun off from Honeywell
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Key people Mark DeYoung, President and CEO
Products small-, medium-, and large-caliber military ammunition; sporting ammunition, accessories, and firearms; M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round; medium-caliber gun systems; missile warning systems; tactical rocket motors; XM25; Precision Guidance Kit; AARGM; AAR-47; Special Mission Aircraft; solid rocket propulsion; GEM-60 Rocket Motors; satellite components; lightweight space deployables and solar arrays; flares and decoys; aerospace structures; facility management and modernization
Revenue Increase US$4.78 Billion (FY 2014')
Operating income Increase US4590 Million (FY 2014)
Net income Increase US$340 Million (FY 2014)
Total assets Increase US$5.77 Billion (FY 2014)
Total equity Increase US$1.91 Billion (FY 2014)
Employees 16,000[1]
Website www.atk.com

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) is an aerospace, defense, and sporting goods company with its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. The company operates in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and other countries. ATK booked about US$4.78 billion in revenue for the 2014 fiscal year.

History[edit]

ATK was launched as an independent company in 1990, when Honeywell Inc. spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. The former Honeywell businesses had supplied defense products and systems to the U.S. and its allies for 50 years, including the first electronic autopilot that enabled B-17 aircraft to accomplish pinpoint bombing missions during World War II.[2]

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

In 1995, ATK entered the aerospace market with the acquisition of the aerospace division of Hercules Inc. Since then ATK has become a supplier of aerospace and defense products to the U.S. government and its allies, and to their contractors.

In 2001, ATK acquired Thiokol, renaming it to ATK Launch Systems in 2006 (though it is still known within the industry by its original name). Thiokol was the sole manufacturer of the reusable Solid Rocket Motor used to launch the NASA Space Shuttle, which is being adapted for NASA’s Space Launch System.

Also in 2001, ATK entered the sporting and law enforcement ammunition market with the acquisition of the ammunition businesses of Blount International. This acquisition made ATK the nation's largest manufacturer of ammunition.

In 2009, ATK acquired Eagle Industries and in 2010 ATK acquired Blackhawk Industries Products Group Unlimited, LLC, diversifying into the security and law enforcement market.

In 2013, ATK acquired Caliber Company, the parent company of Savage Sports Corporation (Savage), one of the world's largest manufacturers of hunting rifles and shotguns. Later in 2013, ATK acquired Bushnell Corporation, an outdoor accessories company with 19 iconic brands that specialize in sports optics, hunting/camping accessories and performance eyewear.

On 29 April 2014, ATK announced that its board unanimously approved a plan to create two independent, public companies composed of ATK's current businesses and Orbital Sciences Corporation. ATK is spinning off its Sporting Group to ATK shareholders on a tax-free basis. The spinoff will be immediately followed by an all-stock merger of ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups with Orbital Sciences; Orbital shareholders will receive ATK common stock as consideration. ATK will change its name to Orbital ATK, Inc.[3]

Groups[edit]

ATK Aerospace[edit]

A display of ATK rockets

ATK’s Aerospace Group covers space, defense and commercial aerospace products and capabilities. The group offers propulsion for space exploration, commercial launch vehicles and strategic and missile defense. It also specializes in:

  • Composite structures for military and commercial aircraft
  • Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine
  • F-35 Lightning II (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter)
  • Integrated satellite systems
  • Satellite components and subsystems
  • Military flares and decoys
  • Space engineering services
  • Propulsion for space exploration, commercial launch vehicles, strategic and missile defines

In November 2010, ATK was selected by NASA for potential contracts in heavy lft launch vehicle systems and other propulsion technologies. In 2012, NASA awarded the company a $50 million contract to complete engineering development and risk reduction tests as part of the Advanced Concept Booster Development for the Space Launch System (SLS).

In April 2014, ATK received a contract from the United Launch Alliance worth $178 million to produce composite structures for the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. ATK will deliver parts for the Atlas V and Delta IV starting in 2014 and continuing into early 2018. There is an option for additional deliveries in 2017 and 2018. ATK will provide fairings, payload adapters and diaphragms, interstates, nose cones, and thermal/aerodynamic protection components. All the structures will be produced at ATK's Large Structures Center of Excellence in Luka, Mississippi.[4]

ATK produces avionics for NASA's Space Launch System program. The Space Launch System is designed for deep space[disambiguation needed] operations, including missions to Mars.[5] After ATK finishes testing, avionics will be delivered to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The first launch is expected in 2017.[6]

ATK Aerospace is headquartered in Magna, Utah.[7]

James Webb Space Telescope[edit]

3/4 view of JWST from the "top" (opposite side from the Sun).

ATK worked with Northrop Grumman to produce the backplane support frame (BSF) for the James Webb Space Telescope. The BSF, center section, and wings form what is called the primary mirror backplane support system (PMBSS). The BSF is the primary load-bearing structure during launch and the PMBSS holds the telescopes main instruments, including its mirrors. The BSF was designed and manufactured at ATK's facilities in Magna, Utah. ATK designed and fabricated more than 10,000 parts for the PMBSS. PMBSS is made primarily of lightweight graphite, but numerous other materials including invar, titanium, and other composite materials were used.[8]

Delta II[edit]

Main article: Delta II
Clouds of Smoke around the 323 th Delta rocket on lauch pad 17B

ATK produces Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM) and larget composite fairings for the Delta II rocket as a subcontractor for the United Launch Alliance. As of June 2014, ATK has produced 987 solid rocket boosters for Delta II missions. These strap-on boosters, known as GEM-40s, add 434,000 pounds to the Delta II's maximum thrust. The GEM-40s can be used in groups of three, four, and nine depending on the weight of the payload. The composite structures supplied by ATK increase performance by reducing weight. In addition to composite booster cases for the GEM-40s, ATK produces a 10-foot wide composite payload fairing that covers and protects satellites during launch. ATK also produces the titanium diaphragm propellant tanks and pressurant tank for each Delta II vehicle. [9]

Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2[edit]

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) is an American environmental science satellite. The spacecraft is used to study carbon dioxide concentrations and distributions in the atmosphere.[10] ATK produced the OCO-2's Variable Conductance Heat Pipes, an important part of its thermal control system, solar arrays, and solar array substrates. [9]

ATK Defense[edit]

XM-25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System

ATK’s Defense Group produces ammunition, precision and strike weapons, missile-warning solutions and tactical rocket motors across air, sea and land-based systems.

ATK Defense Group develops products and services for:

  • Small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition
  • Anti-radiation homing strike vehicles
  • Missile warning and hostile fire detection
  • Precision-guided munitions
  • Propulsion, advanced fuzing and warheads
  • Medium-caliber gun systems
  • Missile defense interceptors
  • Weaponized ISR special mission aircraft
    • MC-27J

In 2012 ATK was selected by the US Army to operate and maintain of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) in Independence, Mo. The initial term is seven years but if all award terms are exercised, the contracts would cover a ten-year period. ATK began operating the plant in April 2000.

As of April 2014, ATK had a three-year contract with Lockheed to develop a warhead for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. The contract includes engineering, manufacturing, and development. ATK's work will focus on system performance, warhead qualification, and producibility.[11]

AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile[edit]

AGM-88E

The AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) is an upgrade to the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). The AARGM is the result of cooperation between the United States and Italy. It is produced by ATK. In September 2013, ATK delivered the 100th AARGM to the U.S. Navy. The AGM-88E development program was proceeded on schedule and did not exceed its budget.[12]

AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System[edit]

The AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Set (MWS) is used on slow moving aircraft such as helicopters and military transport aircraft to notify the pilot of threats and to trigger the aircraft's countermeasures systems. Its main users are the U.S Army, Navy and Air Force, but is also operated by other countries. Originally developed by Loral, it has been solely a product of ATK since 2002. The AN/AAR-47 passively detects missiles by their infrared signature, and uses algorithms to differentiate between incoming missiles and false alarms. Newer versions also have laser warning sensors and are capable of detecting a wider range of threats. After processing the nature of the threat, the system gives the pilot an audio and visual warning, and tells the direction of the incoming threat. It also sends a signal to the aircraft's infrared countermeasures system, which can then for example deploy flares. The development of the original AN/AAR-47(V)1 began in 1983 by Loral. ATK became a second production source in the mid 90s and eventually became the primary contractor. In 1998 ATK began production of the improved AN/AAR-47(V)2, which added laser warning functionality.[13]

Precision Guidance Kit[edit]

The Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) is a U.S. Army program to develop a precision guidance system for existing 155 mm artillery shells.[14] The prime contractor is Alliant Techsystems and the project team includes Interstate Electronics Corporation.[15] In operation the PGK will screw into the nose of the projectile much like the existing fuze. However as well as the fuzing function it will provide a GPS guidance package and control surfaces to correct the flight of the shell. This is analogous to the addition of a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail-kit to a dumb iron bomb, creating a precision guided munition. Production started in 2009.[16]

ATK Sporting[edit]

ATK’s Sporting Group offers products under several brands for sport-shooting enthusiasts, police, and military customers around the world. The group provides:

  • Traditional center fire and rim fire rifles, and shotguns
  • Ammunition for sports, law enforcement, military, and security
  • Hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor recreation accessories
    • Optics, gun cleaning, targets and range systems
  • Tactical accessories for military, law enforcement and security markets
  • Gunpowder for ammunition and re-loaders

Some of ATK’s most well-known brands are Federal Premium, BLACKHAWK!, Savage, and Bushnell.

As of 2013, ATK’s sporting business accounted for nearly 45 percent of the company’s revenue.

ATK Sporting is headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]