ATK (Arlington, Va., USA) reported on April 16 that it has reached agreement on a $178 million contract award as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Phase 1 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) buy from United Launch Alliance (ULA, Cenntenial, Colo., USA). The order value includes hardware for both of the current United States Air Force EELV launch vehicles, the Atlas V and Delta IV. The initial contracting period includes large composite structures with deliveries commencing in AFY14 and continuing into early AFY18. The option period includes hardware deliveries in AFY17 through AFY19.
The order consists of a variety of composite structures 13 to 18 ft (3.9m to 5.5m) in diameter with lengths up to 63 ft/19.2m, including fairings, payload adapters and diaphragms, interstages, nose cones and structures providing main engine thermal/aerodynamic protection. All of the structures will be fabricated in ATK’s Large Structures Center of Excellence (COE) in Iuka, Miss., USA, employing advanced fiber placement and hand lay-up processes, automated machining and ultrasonic inspection techniques.
The Large Structures COE boasts more than 320,000 ft2/29,729m2 of manufacturing floor space, including an 86,000-ft2/7,990m2 clean room facility, which houses some of the largest specialized processing equipment of its kind in the United States.
“ATK's continued involvement in the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles is a strong demonstration of our workforce’s engineering and manufacturing abilities,” says Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Aerospace Structures division. “Our ongoing support of ULA missions is a critical element of our business, and we are proud to provide support for these successful programs.”
Editor PickGardner Business Index at 54.1 in January
The US composites industry looks as strong as it has since early 2015, with expectations the highest in years.