Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has conducted its first start-stop-start test of a solid rocket motor, under a US Army programme to extend the range of future anti-tank missiles. The static firing test was conducted by ATK Tactical Systems under the US Army's controllable thrust propulsion programme.

Under the test of its variable-area pintle nozzle, ATK ignited, terminated the burn and re-ignited the solid rocket motor. The test motor used a less sensitive, minimum-smoke propellant designed to reduce the risk of accidental explosion.

The US Army's controllable thrust propulsion programme is intended to develop energy management technology to increase the range and flexibility of future weapons, including the Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM) and Joint Common Missile (JCM). ATK is in Boeing's team in the JCM contest to develop a Hellfire replacement.

ATK, meanwhile, has tested a flight-weight solid rocket motor for the CKEM, a hypervelocity round intended for the US Army's Future Combat Systems family of lightweight armoured vehicles. The test involved a new propellant providing up to 8% more performance than current minimum-signature propellants, says ATK.

Source: Flight International