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USAF taps Aerojet Rocketdyne for new ICBM motor

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has contracted Aerojet Rocketdyne to demonstrate a medium-class Stage III motor for use on Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

Work under the contract, issued as part of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Propulsion Applications Program, covers the development, fabrication and demonstration of a full-scale motor designed to replace the aging SR-73 third-stage motors in the current Minuteman III ICBM.

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The motor to be produced will use propulsion technologies that can be used by future propulsion systems.

"This is an important win for Aerojet Rocketdyne," Aerojet Rocketdyne Vice President of Missile Defense and Strategic Systems Michael Bright said. "It helps maintain critical industrial base capability in solid rocket motor design and development, and provides a cost competitive strategy to sustain the aging Minuteman III missile."

The value of the contract and its length were not disclosed.

Aerojet Rocketdyne said a full-scale static test of the motor, including a thrust termination demonstration, is planned.

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