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Orbital ATK: State-of-the-Art Aerospace, Defense and Communications Products


Manufacturers in the aerospace, defense, and communications sector do more than keep Americans safe and secure, and allow us explore the frontiers of space. They also are major employers. You may not be familiar with Orbital ATK, but the company’s economic footprint is substantial. It has facilities in 20 states, and has a highly trained global workforce of about 12,500 people.

Its ammunition plant in Missouri can produce 1.4 billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition in a year. It also produces ammunition in Radford, Virginia. Nobody in the United States makes more small-caliber ammunition.

The firm also makes missile propulsion systems and combat-tested aircraft survivability systems. The company has 300 long-range missile defense interceptors and target systems completed or under contract.

In 2015, the company celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Pegasus air-launched rocket. Following the rocket’s introduction, the development team was honored with the National Medal of Technology from President George H. W. Bush and the Smithsonian Institute’s Air and Space Museum Trophy.

Orbital ATK manufactures satellites in Beltsville, Maryland; and has a missile products group based in Baltimore. The corporate headquarters is in Dulles, Virginia.

The company’s impressive capabilities have been assembled over a period of time. In the years before Orbital and ATK merged, ATK had purchased key divisions from Hercules Aerospace, Honeywell, and Thiokol Propulsion – all with the determined goal to deliver innovative and affordable solutions to customers, including the U.S. military and NASA. A sports-products division was recently divested in order to sharpen the focus on core competencies.

Orbital ATK is also on the forefront of facilitating space exploration. It provided critical hardware for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V vehicle that in 2015 launched four first-of-their-kind NASA satellites from Cape Canaveral. The program deploys four satellites that will use Earth’s magnetosphere as a lab to study the microphysics of plasma processes of space weather in near-Earth space: magnetic reconnection, energetic particle acceleration and turbulence.

Orbital ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield. The assembly was made using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at the company’s Iuka, Mississippi, plant. It was the 53rd Atlas V launch using Orbital ATK-built composite structures.

The story of Orbital ATK is a reminder that much of the world's most advanced aerospace, defense, and communications R&D and manufacturing is done in America.