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Orbital ATK (OA) Clinches Contract Worth $200M from NASA

Orbital ATK, Inc. OA, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, was awarded the Sounding Rocket Operations Contract III by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Per the deal, the company will provide support for the agency’s Sounding Rockets Program. Sounding rockets are used to conduct suborbital missions for scientific and atmospheric research.

Delving Deeper

The contract has a one-year base period and four one-year options. Its total value, including the option periods, comes to nearly $200 million. Work will mainly be performed at the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, VA; and the White Sands Missile Range in White Sands, NM.

Under the contract, Orbital ATK, along with LJT and Associates, Inc., the Hammers Company and Hawk Institute for Space Sciences, will employ technical and administrative staff at the Wallops Flight Facility and the White Sands Missile Range.

Orbital ATK is also responsible for extending all associated services and supplies for the Sounding Rockets Program, including the design, fabrication, integration and flight qualification testing of sub-orbital payloads, as well as the provision of launch vehicles, associated hardware and various activities related to subsequent mission launch operations. The team also plans to work with the NASA Sounding Rockets program to create and employ additional capabilities.

Orbital ATK has clinched the latest contract in an open competition. It has been serving as the prime contractor of the program since 2010. During this period, the company has supported 94 sounding rocket launches and set the record for 41 consecutive successful missions, making a record in the 57-year history of the program.

Active Role in Other Missions

In addition to the latest contract, the company supports a high-altitude scientific research program for the agency. Orbital ATK is the prime contractor for the NASA Balloon Operations, which is administered by the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility and managed from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine, TX. The CSBF staff has a record of launching more than 1,700 scientific balloons from seven countries over the past 35 years.

Orbital ATK has worked with the NASA on several missions, for which the company provided a wide array of products and services. The agency awarded the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts to the company for ensuring commercial cargo delivery and disposal services to and from the International Space Station (ISS) in the 2019–2024 time frame.

The company’s efforts on introducing new products and services, backed by the joint expertise of Orbital Sciences Corporation and Alliant Techsystems Inc., should boost the flow of both domestic and international contracts.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Orbital ATK currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the aerospace and defense industry include HEICO Corporation HEI, TransDigm Group Incorporated TDG and AeroVironment, Inc. AVAV. HEICO and TransDigm Group sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while AeroVironment carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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ORBITAL ATK INC (OA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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