ATK and Orbital merge aerospace companies to create rocket and satellite powerhouse

DULLES, Va., 1 May 2014. Executives of rocket design specialists Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va., and Alliant Techsystems Inc. in Minneapolis have agreed to combine the companies' aerospace and defense groups into a $4.5 billion space, defense, and aviation systems developer and manufacturer called Orbital ATK Inc.

The 13,000-person combine company will focus on space launch vehicles and propulsion systems, tactical missiles and defense electronics, satellites and space systems, armament systems and ammunition, and commercial and military aircraft structures. ATK will spin off its Sporting Group.

The merger, worth about $5 billion based on Orbital's stock price, will combine Orbital's small- and medium-class satellite and launch vehicle product lines with ATK's rocket propulsion, composite structures, and space power systems.

Orbital President David Thompson will be president and CEO of Orbital ATK. Blake Larson, president of ATK's Aerospace Group, will be chief operating officer. A 16-member board of directors will be led by retired Air Force Gen. Ronald Fogleman as chairman. Directors will include seven from ATK and nine from Orbital.

Related: Orbital Sciences chooses GPS receivers from RUAG Space for ICESat-2 Earth-observation satellite

"Orbital ATK will deliver even more affordable space, defense and aviation systems to our existing customers and be strongly positioned to expand into adjacent areas," Thompson says. The merger "will generate cost and revenue synergies and create a more streamlined and competitive operator," says ATK CEO Mark DeYoung.

Orbital ATK will employ more than 4,300 engineers and scientists and 7,400 production and operations specialists, at engineering centers, research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and test and launch sites in 17 states.

The combined company will be headquartered at Orbital's existing Dulles, Va., campus, with major employee sites in Utah, Missouri, Virginia, Arizona, Maryland, West Virginia, California, and Minnesota.

Related: Deployable Space Systems, ATK Space Systems to develop NASA solar array system

ATK shareholders will own about 53.8 percent of the company and Orbital shareholders will own about 46.2 percent. The merger is conditioned on approval by the shareholders of both companies.

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military, and civil government applications. The company's primary products are satellites and rockets. ATK, meanwhile, develops rocket engines, military and commercial aircraft structures, and satellite components. The company also is involved in ammunition, weapons, missile-warning, and tactical rocket motors.

For more information contact ATK online at, or Orbital at

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