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07:17 AM, April 19, 2018
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OmegA fastners (Image: Orbital ATK)

Orbital ATK has announced the name its new three-stage rocket launch vehicle, OmegA meant for US Air Force’s Evolved, Expandable Launch Vehicle (EEVLV) program and plans to carry out initial flights of intermediate configuration by early 2021.

OmegA will provide intermediate- to heavy-class launch services for the Department of Defense, civil government and commercial customers beginning in three years, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

OmegA is a three-stage rocket augmented by adding up to six strap-on boosters. The first and second stages are the company’s large-class solid propellant motors with composite cases. These can be configured in various combinations to build first and second stage boosters for intermediate- and heavy-class configurations. OmegA’s cryogenic third stage is powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10C engine. The vehicle also incorporates Orbital ATK large composites inter-stages and five-meter fairing.

“OmegA is very much an all-American rocket that comprises the best of what we do at Orbital ATK,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight System Group. “This includes our launch vehicles, propulsion, large composites, avionics, facilities and our experienced team of employees and suppliers.”

Orbital ATK has built four of the composite motor cases, two of which are insulated and machined and ready for the first cast next week. The company plans to complete static tests of first and second stages by mid-2019 as per the program timeline. Orbital ATK is building tooling for the upper stage and will start producing propellant tanks early next year.

Major design reviews for the launch vehicle and launch site at Kennedy Space Center will occur this summer.

Initial flights of OmegA’s intermediate configuration will begin in early 2021, which will certify the vehicle for EELV missions later that year. The initial heavy configuration certification flights begin in 2024.

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