First U.S. Ramjet to Enter Production in More Than 40 Years
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 6, 2006 -- Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY) company, announced today a contract award from Orbital Sciences for full-rate production of the Aerojet MARC R282 ramjet engine as part of the U.S. Navy's "Coyote" Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST) missile program. A ramjet is a propulsion system that operates at higher speeds than conventional turbine engines. Aerojet's ramjet engine powers the Coyote missile during the extended high-speed cruise phase of flight at up to three times the speed of sound.
Aerojet developed the world's first variable flow ducted rocket (VFDR) ramjet for SSST, and is the only company that is producing high speed ramjet missile propulsion for U.S. military needs. Aerojet developed this low-cost design solution specifically for military missile applications.
The Coyote production contract is the culmination of Aerojet's successful five-year MARC R282 ramjet development program that included five successful development flight tests, two low rate initial production orders, and follows the successful completion of the first SSST operational flight. Aerojet will produce 19 MARC R282 ramjet engines under this contract over the next 18 months.
"Aerojet's ramjet technology is world-class and continues to prove its value for extended ranges, controllable thrust and affordable high speed," said Aerojet President Scott Neish. "Aerojet is proud to provide the U.S. Navy and Orbital Sciences Corporation with ramjet propulsion for the Coyote missile to meet a long-standing need and looks forward to continued production for years to come."
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company’s excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.