Orbital Sciences Corporation has been awarded a $37.9 million modification to a previous contract for 13 GQM-163A supersonic sea-skimming rockets. They will be built primarily at the company's facility at Chandler, Arizona, which employs more than 1,000 people and accounts for 40 per cent of the company's business.
The sea-skimming rocket is a target that replicates aerial threats to naval vessels. The land-launched missile ascends to 2,000 feet, then dips back down to fly at Mach 2 about 15 feet above the surface.
In March, Orbital reached an agreement with the French military to build an undisclosed number of GQM-163A target rockets for $9 million. It was the first time Orbital had sold to a foreign government.
Alliant Techsystems Inc of Mesa, Arizona, has bagged a $44.6 million contract to build MK 244 Mod 0 20-mm armour-piercing shells for the M61A1 machine guns mounted on US Navy ships. These 'enriched lethality' projectiles are considered an upgrade from the previous MK149 Mod 4, because they contain a heavier shell tip, inflicting more damage. They will be manufactured at Alliant's Independence, Missouri, facility. The contract is expected to be completed by 2010.
The Phoenix-based Goodrich Corporation has received a $7.4 million contract for building aircraft ejection-seat catapults through the US Naval Warfare Centre's cartridge-actuated propellant-actuated devices programme. Military forces in 20 countries, including South Korea, Egypt, Denmark and Norway, will receive the devices as part of the Defence Department's foreign military sales programme.