05 January 2016
05 January 2016
Orbital ATK has been awarded a contract from United Launch Alliance (ULA) for large-size composite structures to be used for the Atlas V and Delta IV vehicles in support of the current US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV) programs.
During the contract scope, Orbital ATK says it will produce large composite structures for ULA, with deliveries commencing in 2016 and continuing into early 2019. Hardware from the new order will support both Atlas V and Delta IV launches through approximately 2021.
"Our long-standing involvement on both the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles is a strong demonstration of our workforce’s engineering and manufacturing abilities," said Steve Earl, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division. "Our support of ULA EELV missions is a critical element of our aerospace structures business, and we are proud to provide support for these marquee launch vehicle programs.”
According to Orbital ATK, the order consists of a variety of composite structures 13 to 18 feet (4 to 5.5 meters) in diameter with lengths up to 63 feet (19 meters), including fairings, payload adapters and diaphragms, interstages, nose cones and structures providing main engine thermal/aerodynamic protection. All of the structures will be fabricated in its Large Structures Center of Excellence (COE) in Luka, Mississippi, US, employing advanced fibre placement and hand lay-up processes, automated machining and ultrasonic inspection techniques.
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The American Composites Manufacturers Association participated in a roundtable discussion about the IMAGINE Act. Known as the Innovative Materials in American Growth and Infrastructure, Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act, the new bill is designed to promote the increased use of innovative materials like fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, as well as new manufacturing methods to accelerate the deployment and extend the life of infrastructure projects.
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