Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Alliant Techsystems (ATK) of Arlington, Va., is merging its aerospace and defense segments with Orbital Sciences, the Dulles-Va.-based commercial space firm. The $5 billion transaction is expected to be completed later this year. The new company will be Orbital ATK, based in Dulles. ATK, a major ammunition maker, is spinning off its hunting gear segment into a separate company. ATK is looking to bolster its aerospace business and Orbital Sciences hopes to boost the scale of its existing operations and gain a foothold in the defense sector. Last year Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station, the second commercial company to do so after SpaceX. ATK is also involved in space activities, building aerospace structures and rocket engines. This month it received a contract from United Launch Alliance (ULA) to deliver hardware for the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets. (Sources: multiple, including Washington Post, Reuters, GovConWire, 04/29/14) Gulf Coast note: Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket is powered by AJ-26 engines tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; ULA's Delta IV is powered by RS-68 engines tested at SSC; ATK also has operations in Huntsville, Ala., and an aerospace structures business in Iuka, Miss.