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Space & Missile Defense Report

Bush Touts Improved Affordability, Enhanced Competitiveness As Drivers In Orbital ATK Deal

Northrop Grumman’s [NOC] proposed $7.8 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK [OA] will drive improved affordability for its customers, strengthen its competitiveness in a number of areas such as space and missile defense systems, and help spur innovation, Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman’s chairman, president and CEO, said Sept. 18 on an investor call.Bush said that the operating environment…

Army Demonstrates Remote Launch Capability In PAC-3 MSE Test

The Army last weekend successfully tested its latest Patriot missile interceptor in a remote launch configuration, a first for the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE), Lockheed Martin [LMT] reported on Sept. 21.The Lockheed Martin-built PAC-3 MSE hit-to-kill interceptor was launched Sept. 17 from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, remote from…

Lockheed Martin Launches New Satellite Bus Family In Response To Customer Needs

Responding to customer demands for more affordable, flexible and responsive products, Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Sept. 19 introduced a new family of satellite busses with hundreds of common features able to carry payloads weighing from 22 pounds to more than 5,000 pounds for commercial, civil and military missions.The company invested $300 million over the past five years,…

Orbital ATK, SSL Tout Progress In Robotic Space Efforts

Orbital ATK [OA] announced Sept. 11 that it has begun assembling its first robotic satellite-servicing spacecraft, which it plans to launch in 2018.Orbital ATK conducted a critical design review of the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) earlier in 2017, and its satellite manufacturing plant in Dulles, Va., has taken delivery of about 75 percent of the spacecraft’s…

Stratolaunch Begins Engine Tests On Satellite-Launching Airplane

Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing an extra-large airplane to launch small satellites into space, has begun engine testing on the aircraft, the company announced Sept. 19.During the initial tests, the company started all six engines, first with auxiliary power, then with fuel. Made by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. (UTX), the PW4056 engines performed…

Raytheon Works With Ducommun For NSM Fire Control System

Raytheon [RTN] chose to work with Ducommun [DCO] to build the fire control systems for the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), Raytheon said on Sept. 11.The NSM is a long-range anti-ship and land-attack missile that originates with a missile design developed in by Kongsberg for the Royal Norwegian Navy. The long-range missile can hit enemy targets up to 100 miles away,…

Senate Rejects House Plan To Form Space Corps

The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to its fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill that would block a controversial House proposal to create a space corps.The Senate language, offered by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would ban the use of FY 2018 funds…

Air Force Aims To Make Routine Satellite Operations More Efficient

The U.S. Air Force is looking for ways to make its routine satellite operations more efficient so that operators have more time to think creatively in contested space environments, according to a space official.Increasing the amount of automation and delegating activities to commercial providers are among the options the Air Force is considering, said Col. Jennifer…