Orbital ATK marks milestone for Hellfire missile motors ahead of upgrades

Orbital ATK, manufacturer of the tactical motor for Hellfire missiles, has produced and delivered its 100,000th unit.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Oct. 25, 2017 at 11:55 AM
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Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Orbital ATK has celebrated the delivery of the 100,000th tactical motor for the Hellfire missile to military customers.

The Hellfire is in service with 18 nations and carried by a variety of platforms -- from helicopters to fixed-wing aircraft to armored land vehicles.

"This is a great program that has continued to deliver a quality tool, at the quantity we need, to do our job and keep American soldiers safe," U.S. Army Col. David Warnick, Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, Joint Attack Munitions Systems, said at a company ceremony earlier this month. "The Hellfire is going straight from the factory to the front lines where they are being utilized by our soldiers."

The minimum-smoke Hellfire missile rocket motor is produced at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, which makes the motors for all missile variants.

Orbital ATK said it is is upgrading the current version of the rocket motor to include insensitive munitions. The company has incorporated into the new version reduced sensitivity propellants, low-cost bonded end-closure composite cases, and passive thermal mitigation systems. The motor meets propulsion interface requirements for the existing Hellfire and provides enhanced safety for soldiers, the company said.

The company is building a new manufacturing facility for tactical motors in Rocket Center, West Virginia, that will produce only IM-compliant motors.

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