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October 13, 2015

Orbital ATK to deliver new aircraft countermeasure to USAF

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded an initial production contract to Orbital ATK for the new spectrally matched aircraft countermeasure, MJU-73/B.

By Samseer M

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded an initial production contract to Orbital ATK for the new spectrally matched aircraft countermeasure, MJU-73/B.

According to Orbital, the system was selected by USAF due to its technological enhancements and performance against an array of infrared missile threats.

Orbital ATK Propulsion Systems Division vice president and general manager Charlie Precourt said: "Leveraging Orbital ATK’s expertise in solid rocket propulsion has enabled us to develop highly reliable and advanced countermeasures such as the MJU-73/B.

"Our research and manufacturing capabilities will lead to even greater evolutions and effectiveness to protect our nation’s warfighters and their aircraft."

"These sophisticated pyrotechnic devices protect the warfighter by mimicking the ‘heat’ signature of an aircraft to lure infrared missiles away."

The company’s latest innovation in aircraft survivability will be an integral component of a suite of protective measures used by USAF special operations aircraft, the company stated.

In addition, the MJU-73/B serves as the technological baseline for a number of other countermeasure efforts being performed at Orbital ATK.

Orbital ATK Program Manager Jared Olson said: "Today the MJU-73/B is the best infrared countermeasure available, but every day we try to push beyond what is possible.

"Our research and manufacturing capabilities will lead to even greater evolutions and effectiveness to protect our nation’s warfighters and their aircraft."

In July, Orbital ATK secured a contract from the USAF operationally responsive space (ORS) office to launch the ORS-5 SensorSat spacecraft in mid-2017.

Under the $23.6m contract, Orbital is responsible for launching the ORS-5 SensorSat spacecraft using a rocket from its Minotaur launch vehicle family.

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