IW 50 Best: Alliant and Lockheed Launch Rocket Partnership

Defense contractors team to offer rocket-launch services, while Alliant moves forward with realignment initiative.

Leading aerospace defense contractors Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have formed a partnership to offer space-flight launch services for smaller-sized satellites.

Lockheed Martin will provide mission management, payload integration and launch operations, Lockheed Martin said in March 25 statement. Alliant will provide integrated vehicle propulsion, launch vehicle structures, booster integration and launch site operations. The companies will provide the launch services using upgraded Athena rockets.

The rockets will be available for launches beginning in 2012 for use by NASA, the Department of Defense and other space markets.

The rockets can be launched from multiple locations including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kodiak Launch Complex, Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA Wallops Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, according to the statement.

Alliant Techsystems Inc.
At A Glance

Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Minneapolis, Minn.
Number of Employees: 19,000
2008 In Review
Revenue: $4.58 billion
Profit Margin: 5.33%
Sales Turnover: 1.31
Inventory Turnover: 17.67
Revenue Growth: 17.02%
Return On Assets: 7.74%
Return On Equity: 39.86%

"The new Athena family will fill an industry need for lift capability in this payload range," said Scott Lehr, Alliant's vice president and general manager for strategic and commercial systems. "There is a growing need for responsive launch capabilities to serve the Department of Defense, NASA and other customer requirements."

Meanwhile, effective April 1, Alliant will realign its business structure into four operating groups called Aerospace Systems, Armament Systems, Missile Products, and Security and Sporting.

The company envisions the Aerospace Systems group as a growth engine for meeting expected demand increases for the composite aircraft market. The Armament Systems group will supply ammunition manufacturing and services to the military, including integrated weapon systems, gun-launched guided weapons, global supply chain management, and facility management.

The Missile Products group is responsible for supplying tactical rocket and missile components, missile warning systems, and special mission aircraft. Alliant expects the group to play an important role in its long-term growth strategy.

The Security and Sporting encompasses brands for sporting, military, personal security and law enforcement applications, ammunition, accessories, and individual equipment for sporting, military, personal security, and law enforcement applications. Part of the group's focus will entail expanding its product base and market penetration in the growing security markets.

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