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ATK Aids AEHF Satellite Launch

Zacks Equity Research

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) continues to provide several components to the U.S. Air Force for its Advanced Extremely High Frequency (:AEHF) 3 satellite and the United Launch Alliance (:ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle. AEHF 3 is the third satellite under the Air Force’s AEHF program.

On Sep 18, 2013, the U.S. Air Force launched the ULA Atlas V rocket, carrying the AEHF 3 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The AEHF 3 satellite will offer secure, jam-resistant and protected communications to the U.S. military and government users, and the defense establishments of Canada, Netherlands and the U.K.

Alliant provided various components to Lockheed Martin Corporation’s (LMT) unit Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the builder of the AEHF 3 satellite. These components include the solar array substrates, yokes, spacecraft bus structure, booms, the composite structures for the antenna gimbal assemblies, pressurant and propellant tanks and the heat pipes.

For the ULA Atlas V rocket, Alliant supplied a 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, the Centaur Interstage Adapter, the boattail, the Reaction Control System propellant tank and retro motors.

Over the years, Alliant has a strong relationship with the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin and tries to meet its commitments in terms of maintaining product and service standards along with delivery timing. We note that this is the 40th Atlas V launch, utilizing the Alliant-manufactured composite structures. In Jul 2013, Alliant provided a 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, the Centaur Interstage Adapter and the boattail to the U.S. Air Force for ULA Atlas V launch vehicle.

The proven track records of the components enable Alliant to become a trusted partner for these critical defense missions. Further, the company is expected to get contract from Lockheed Martin for providing several components for the fifth and sixth AEHF satellites. This will help Alliant to improve its future revenues.

Alliant currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks from the industry that are also presently performing well include Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and B/E Aerospace Inc. (BEAV) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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