ATK and the U.S. Air Force successfully tested the newly developed Large Class (92-inch diameter) Stage I solid rocket motor May 23 at ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah.
The high-performance motor was developed by ATK for the Large Class Stage I program and uses emerging technologies from other Air Force developmental programs, including the Propulsion Application Program and Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology. The contract is managed out of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base. Preliminary results show all channels of data were collected, and performance appears to be within predictions.
“This successful test demonstrates ATK’s capabilities to provide the Air Force an updated, large class solid rocket motor with technologies that can be used to†support future missions,” said Scott Lehr. “Our design also maximizes the use of common materials and processes that improve affordability and†reduce production lead times.”
The Air Force has been tasked with maturing and demonstrating available technologies in a Large Class Solid Rocket Motor and with demonstrating a potential Family of Motors capability applicable to future propulsion systems. Having this capability would save the Air Force future development costs by assembling an array of existing rocket motors that could be combined to meet future mission requirements at a fraction of the cost of developing new propulsion systems for each mission.
ATK has a successful history of designing, fabricating, integrating, testing and delivering more than 3,800 stage motors in direct support of Department of Defense missions. As potential Family of Motors candidates, ATK’s Large Class Stage I and Stage III motors could support multiple missions such as Conventional Strike Missile and Operationally Responsive Space.
The Large Class Stage I program is conducted under the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Demonstration/Validation Propulsion Applications Program funding to support the demonstration of technologies applicable to future strategic programs.
A key partner supporting ATK through the development and production of the Large Class Stage motor is Moog (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) in East Aurora, N.Y. Moog produced the thrust vector control system, which was developed to have common hardware for future use on other ATK motors.