David Thompson: The Future ‘Orbital ATK’ to Target Agility, Innovation

David Thompson
David Thompson

Orbital Sciences Chairman, President and CEO David Thompson said the company plans to remain true to its mission of lowering costs to access outer space after completing its estimated $5 billion merger with ATK, the Washington Post reported Monday.

“From a strategic standpoint, this merger will create a much larger and more capable but still highly innovative, agile and competitive space and defense systems manufacturer,” Thompson said in an investors’ call to announce the transaction, according to the report.

Amrita Jayakumar writes that some analysts see the partnership with ATK as the next step in the Dulles-based startup space company’s evolution in the crowded aerospace sector.

According to the report, defense analyst Loren Thompson believes the deal marks a coming-of-age for what he called were “entrepreneurial space enthusiasts” at the outset.

“Orbital… has gradually evolved to become a well-established and diverse player in the aerospace industry,” he told the Post.

Thompson said the consolidation also validates what it takes to keep in step with tier-one contractors and survive in a highly competitive industry.

Space policy analyst Linda Billings told the publication that Orbital saw the transformation as a key step to its business growth strategy and that she believes the combined company will remain “very new and different from the traditional government contractors.”

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