Italy Joins ATK and the U.S. Navy in the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Development Program
ATK and the U.S. Navy Welcome Italian Participation
Nov 16, 2005
Minneapolis, November 16, 2005 – U.S. defense contractor Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) announced today that a Memorandum of Agreement between the Italian Ministry of Defense and U.S. Department of Defense has been signed establishing a partnership for the joint development of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). AARGM is the follow-on to the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). It will greatly enhance the warfighter’s capability to defeat enemy air defenses and strike other time sensitive targets through a cost-effective upgrade to existing HARM missiles.
AARGM and future derivatives may be made available to selected U.S. allies to significantly enhance their respective warfighting capabilities and to improve coalition force interoperability.
"AARGM is assigned the task of defeating enemy air defenses, and when it enters service it will immediately become the most advanced anti-radiation air-to-ground weapon system in the arsenals of the U.S. Navy and participating allied nations," said Captain Mark Converse, USN Program Manager, PMA-242. "We are pleased to welcome Italy to the team and look forward to the many contributions Italian industry will make as we proceed with development."
The Italian Government will provide approximately $20 million of developmental funding. In addition, it will make several million dollars worth of non-financial contributions, including surrogate targets/simulators. ATK’s Italian industry partners will develop, manufacture and deliver real and surrogate air defense systems for use in a dedicated seeker captive flight test program. The cooperative development team will conduct this program at the flight test center at Pratica di Mare, Italy and Sardinia range facilities.
The Italian industry partners will also support the AARGM program by providing an appropriate aircraft to be used by the Italian Air Force for the captive flight tests of the AARGM seeker assembly, as well as supplying requisite CFT support services for the duration of the captive flight program in Italy. Additionally, Italian industry will be tasked to modify, assemble, integrate, and test prototype AARGM common control sections, and perform synthetic target signature studies and analysis.
The Italian Air Force plans to deploy the AARGM missiles on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. "When carrying ATK’s AARGM under its wing, the Italian Tornado ECR will have unmatched capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (DEAD) missions," said Brian Lawrence, Vice President for International Cooperative Programs at ATK.
Once in production, the Italian Air Force is expected to procure approximately 250 AARGM systems. The U.S. Navy is expected to procure approximately 1,750 systems. Several other allied nations have also expressed interest in the weapon system.
ATK is a $3.1 Billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 14,500 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: the challenges of developing advanced missile technology, changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, reference should be made to ATK’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and ATK’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005.
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