Aerojet Rocketdyne has won contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop and test a full-scale motor with propulsion features intended for current and future Air Force and Defense Department propulsion technologies.
The company will work to replace an existing SR-73 third stage motor in the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile with a Medium Class Stage III motor under the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Propulsion Applications Program vehicle, Aerojet said Monday.
Michael Bright, vice president of missile defense and strategic systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the contract is intended to demonstrate the company’s capabilities in terms of rocket motor design and to help upgrade an aging Minuteman III missile.
The company plans to test thrust termination of the motor and will conduct the work at Clearfield, Utah; Gainesville, Va., and Sacramento, Calif.
The Air Force and Aerojet have collaborated for the past 10 years to modernize the Minuteman III concept and to help support the local rocket motor industry by sourcing materials domestically.