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ATK to Acquire Hypersonic Flight Businesses From Allied Aerospace

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Minneapolis - Nov 25, 2003
ATK has agreed to acquire two hypersonic flight businesses -- GASL and Micro Craft -- from Allied Aerospace. The strategic transaction adds to ATK's portfolio leading-edge propulsion and airframe technologies for highly demanding aerospace and defense applications.

GASL and Micro Craft are leaders in the development of hypervelocity and air-breathing systems for next-generation space vehicles, missiles, and projectiles. Their programs include:

  • Scramjet projectiles and missiles. GASL is the prime contractor on a program jointly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Navy to develop supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) projectile and missile technology that will dramatically enhance the effectiveness and range of precision weapons.

  • Hypersonic aircraft. Micro Craft is leading a NASA-funded industry team developing three flight-ready X-43C demonstrator aircraft that will fly approximately 5,000 miles per hour (seven times the speed of sound) -- significantly expanding the hypersonic flight regime. Other members of the team are Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and RJK Technologies.

Dan Murphy, chief executive officer, said the capabilities of GASL and Micro Craft, when combined with ATK's current portfolio, will establish ATK as the clear leader in air-breathing propulsion.

"This is an important strategic acquisition that will significantly enhance ATK's future growth prospects," said Murphy. "Ramjet/scramjet propulsion addresses critical Department of Defense and NASA requirements. The technology is literally the key that opens the door to dramatic improvements in space launch and precision stand-off capability."

Murphy said the development and demonstration of technology that enables air-breathing hypersonic flight is essential to the success of the National Aerospace Initiative, a partnership between the Department of Defense and NASA aimed at ensuring America's aerospace leadership.

"We are now squarely at the center of this important effort," said Murphy. "Air-breathing technology is the common element across all the future applications envisioned in the National Aerospace Initiative. These include rapid response stand-off weapons, hypersonic interceptors, rapid strike and reconnaissance aircraft traveling at speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 10 - and ultimately, reusable vehicles that offer reliable and affordable space transportation at speeds up to Mach 12."

Murphy said that with the acquisition of the Allied Aerospace businesses, ATK will now move forward aggressively on three strategic fronts.

"We will expand quickly into air-breathing and combined-cycle engine propulsion systems from the strong foundation of our core solid propulsion business base -- employing the same strategy we used to launch into the precision systems arena from our conventional munitions base," said Murphy.

"We will continue to execute our precision systems growth strategy by seeking additional opportunities in the market for gun-launched and air-launched precision-fire and precision-strike weapons that rely on air-breathing propulsion systems. And we will accelerate our transformation into a systems-level integrator."

GASL and Micro Craft employ approximately 170 people at facilities in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. and Tullahoma, Tenn., respectively. Terms of the transaction, which closed Nov. 20, were not disclosed.

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DARPA And Air Force Select Falcon Phase I Contractors
 Washington - Nov 18, 2003
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force have selected teams for the first phase of the Force Application and Launch from the Continental U.S. (FALCON) program.

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