Fleet Ballistic Missile Team conducts third successful test firing

18 August 2000

A Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Integrated Product Team (IPT) composed of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems n Missiles & Space Operations, Alliant TechSystems and the Thiokol Corp., recently conducted its third consecutive successful static-fire test of a demonstration solid rocket motor that used low-cost commercial technology and manufacturing methods. The test firing, conducted at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, CA, represents a growing trend in the defense industry to use commercial components and processes to drive down the cost of defense products and equipment. Program officials estimate the low-cost motor chamber, propellant and nozzle components used in this test represent a 50-percent reduction in the direct cost relative to those of the comparable Trident II D5 third stage rocket motor. The half-cost, Trident II D5 third stage-size demonstration motor utilized a commercial space-launch vehicle propellant grain; a co-cured machine-wound elastomeric insulator and composite prepreg for the insulated chamber. Nozzle components utilized Rayon-free, low-cost materials and labor saving, net-molding processing.

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