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ATK And AFRL Test Development Motor For IHPRPT Program

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by Staff Writers
Minneapolis MN (SPX) Feb 27, 2009
Alliant Techsystems and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base have successfully tested a developmental solid rocket motor - designated Phase II - as part of the Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT) program.

The IHPRPT program is a research and development initiative for government and industry designed to improve U.S. solid rocket propulsion systems for multiple applications. The program helps keep the nation on the cutting edge of solid rocket motor technology to ensure that U.S. defense systems have the highest performing, most cost effective propulsion capabilities.

The Phase II motor test firing was the culmination of an eight year development and production effort.

The data and technology from this test will help develop even more robust solid rocket motors with higher energy propellants, lighter components (including next-generation cases and nozzles), and lower production costs. Increased motor energy and reduced weight are key factors to increasing rocket motor performance.

The Phase II motor incorporated a higher performance composite case, low-cost improved insulation material, a unique trap-ball nozzle joint and upgraded material on the liner of the exit cone of the nozzle.

The Phase II motor contained more than 2,000 pounds of high-energy propellant, packaged in a 37-inch diameter composite case. The motor produced an average force of more than 17,800 pounds, during the approximately 30 seconds of test duration.

"The IHPRPT program combines the research and development efforts of government and industry to provide the best solution for advanced solid rocket motors," said Kent Rominger, ATK Launch Systems vice president of Advanced Programs.

The technologies developed from the IHPRPT program can be transferred to other existing and future motor programs. Developments from an IHPRPT Phase I motor that ATK and AFRL successfully tested five years ago have been incorporated in both strategic and commercial solid rocket motor programs.

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