ATK Embarks on a Future AAM Propulsion Study

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Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has been awarded a research and development contract for the Counter Air / Future Naval Capabilities (CA/FNC) program to develop technologies that can be incorporated into next generation air-to-air missile systems. The contract, worth nearly $10-million will fund a four year study by ATK, evaluating specific propulsion technologies considered for integration into the future missile systems.While thestudy is oriented towards the 7-inch diameter currently used with the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) it will also be applicable to other air-to-air missile systems.

The scope of the CA/FNC program is to develop technologies that will extend missile range, decrease time-to-target, improve end-game maneuverability, and improve the rocket motor’s response to insensitive munitions (IM) stimuli.

ATK plans to focus on four main areas: high burn rate propellants for improved kinematics; improving case stiffness for reduced weight and agility; low erosion nozzles for improved performance and multi-pulse propulsion for end-game maneuverability. Additionally, the IM requirement will be addressed with affordable solutions, utilizing advanced propellant formulation in a low cost composite case, and the use of mitigation safety devices derived from tactical rocket motor programs which have already been proven under other IM programs.

ATK is the sole source rocket motor supplier for all currently fielded U.S. air-to-air missile systems that include the AMRAAM and AIM-9X.