ATK and NASA Set the Pace With Record-Breaking X-43A Hypersonic Flight

Press Release From: Alliant Techsystems
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2004


ATK Scramjet Is World's Fastest Jet Aircraft

Test Flight Paves the Way for Low-Cost Launch and Time-Critical Strike Weaponry

For the second time in eight months, ATK and NASA have set the world speed record for air-breathing powered flight with the X-43A Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (Scramjet)-powered aircraft. The X-43A demonstrated its unique capability after separating from a rocket booster and flying under scramjet power at the hypersonic speed of Mach 10 - approximately 7,000 miles per hour. Initial results indicate that the flight achieved good data and predicted performance.

ATK built the X-43A airframe as well as the scramjet propulsion system that powered the aircraft to its record-setting hypersonic flight. As prime contractor, ATK teamed with Boeing, which provided vehicle design support, airframe thermal protection systems, and flight control and navigation systems. Future applications for hypersonic flight include precision time-critical strike weapons with significant stand off capability as well as prompt global reach and low-cost access to space.

In addition to building the X-43A, an ATK rocket motor powered the Orbital Sciences Pegasus-derived launch vehicle that boosted the X-43A to its separation altitude.

ATK is a $2.4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing 13,600 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at .

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