Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

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Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
Operating Division
ISINUS68557N1037 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustrySpace industry
Aerospace industry
Defense industry
FoundedFebruary 9, 2015; 4 years ago (2015-02-09) (as Orbital ATK)
June 5, 2018 (2018-06-05)[1] (as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)
Defunct2018 Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
Key people
  • David W. Thompson (President and CEO)
  • Blake E. Larson (COO)
  • Garrett E. Pierce (CFO)
  • Antonio L. Elias (CTO)
ProductsElectronics, Rocket engines, Military vehicles, Firearms, Autocannons, Missiles, Ammunition, Precision-guided munitions, Satellites, Missile approach warning systems, Launch vehicles, Spacecraft,
RevenueDecreaseUS$ 4.455 billion (2016)
IncreaseUS$ 293 million (2016)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$ 5.418 billion (2016)
Total equityIncreaseUS$ 1.817 billion (2016)
Number of employees
~12,500[2] (2016) at the Wayback Machine (archived March 25, 2018)

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is an American aerospace manufacturer and defense industry company that operates as the aviation division of parent company Northrop Grumman. It was formed as Orbital ATK Inc. in 2015 from the merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and parts of Alliant Techsystems, and was purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2018.[3] Innovation Systems designs, builds, and delivers space, defense, and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. It has a workforce of approximately 12,000 employees dedicated to aerospace and defense including about 4,000 engineers and scientists; 7,000 manufacturing and operations specialists; and 1,000 management and administration personnel.[2]


Former logo of Orbital ATK, the company's original name following the merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and the supoff aerospace division of Alliant Techsystems.

A merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and the defense and aerospace divisions of Alliant Techsystems (ATK) was announced on April 29, 2014. The two companies had collaborated on several previous projects, including the use of 400 ATK rocket motors in Orbital's launch vehicles.[4] The deal officially closed on February 9, 2015. ATK's sporting-goods division spun off to form Vista Outdoor on the same day.[5]

On September 18, 2017, Northrop Grumman announced plans to purchase Orbital ATK for $7.8 billion in cash plus assumption of $1.4 billion in debt.[6] Orbital ATK shareholders approved the buyout on November 29, 2017.[7] The FTC approved the acquisition with conditions on June 5, 2018, and one day later, Orbital ATK were absorbed and became Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.[8][9]


Flight Systems Group[edit]

Based in Chandler, Arizona,[5] the Flight Systems Group includes the Pegasus, Minotaur, and Antares launch vehicles as well as solid-propulsion and aerostructures programs.[1] The company also operates a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar wide body jetliner, which is named Stargazer and is used to air launch Pegasus rockets carrying payloads into space.[10] The Stargazer aircraft is also used for testing under specific programs.

Defense Systems Group[edit]

The Defense Systems Group, based in the Baltimore, Maryland[5] area, produces tactical missiles, defense electronics, and medium- and large-caliber ammunition. The division also produces fuzing and warheads for both tactical missiles and munitions; precision metal and composite structures for medium and large-caliber ammunition, military aircraft, ground vehicles, and missile systems; load, assembly, and pack (LAP) of medium caliber munitions; and propellants and powders for the canister and commercial markets.

Space Systems Group[edit]

Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group provides satellites for commercial, scientific, and security purposes.[1] This group also produces the Cygnus spacecraft, which delivers cargo to the International Space Station. The group is based at the company's headquarters on Warp Drive in Dulles, Virginia.[5]



2016 Oshkosh L-ATV (configured as a JLTV) equipped with EOS R-400S-MK2 remote weapon system integrated with Orbital ATK's M230-LF 30 mm lightweight automatic chain gun.
A product of Orbital ATK: The machine cannon M242 Bushmaster as standard armament of the infantry fighting vehicle M2 Bradley. Orbital ATK holds a trademark on the term "chain gun".
  • Antares, two- or three-stage medium-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur I, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur IV, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur V, five-stage launch vehicle used for geosynchronous transfer orbits and trans-lunar orbits
  • Minotaur VI, five-stage medium-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur-C, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Pegasus, air-launched four-stage small-lift launch vehicle
  • Omega (rocket)

Rocket engines[edit]


The spacecraft Cygnus transporting cargo to the ISS on behalf of NASA.




  1. ^ a b c Berger, Brian (February 12, 2015). "Orbital ATK Org Charts Detail the Newly Merged Company". SpaceNews. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Company Overview". Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Orbital ATK will become Northrop Grumman's fourth business sector".
  4. ^ Aitoro, Jill R. (April 29, 2014). "Why the merger of ATK and Orbital Sciences makes sense". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Wall, Mike (February 10, 2015). "Orbital ATK, Merger of Orbital Sciences and ATK, Begins Operations". Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Northrop Grumman to Acquire Orbital ATK for $9.2 Billion" (PDF) (Press release). Falls Church and Dulles, Virginia: Northrop Grumman Corporation. September 18, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Orbital ATK Shareholders Vote to Approve Acquisition by Northrop Grumman". Northrop Grumman Newsroom (Press release). Falls Church, Virginia: Northrop Grumman Corporation. November 29, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "FTC Imposes Conditions on Northrop Grumman's Acquisition of Solid Rocket Motor Supplier Orbital ATK, Inc" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  9. ^ Erwin, Sandra (June 5, 2018). "Acquisition of Orbital ATK approved, company renamed Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems". SpaceNews. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "Orbital ATK".
  11. ^ "30mm & 20mm x 173mm Munition System".
  12. ^ "Brochure" (PDF).

External links[edit]