Orbital Sciences Co., the Dulles-based satellite and rocket builder, announced a merger with Alliant Techsystems of Arlington to create a $5 billion aerospace and defense company that will be based at Orbital’s campus in Loudoun County. The company will employ 4,000 people in Northern Virginia and Maryland, and about 13,000 people across the country.
The new company, to be called Orbital ATK Inc., will serve U.S. and international customers with leading positions in the markets for space launch vehicles and propulsion systems, tactical missiles and defense electronics, satellites and space systems, armament systems and ammunition, and commercial and military aircraft structures and related components.
As part of the transaction, ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders. The new company will combine Orbital’s small- and medium-class satellite and launch vehicle product lines with ATK’s rocket propulsion, composite structures and space power systems to produce space and missile defense products.
From its Dulles headquarters, Orbital ATK will employ over 4,300 engineers and scientists and 7,400 production and operations specialists, at engineering centers, research laboratories, manufacturing facilities and test and launch sites in 17 states.
The merged company expects to receive about 30 percent of its revenue from commercial and international business, 35 percent from non-defense government agencies like NASA and the Department of Energy and 35 percent from government defense agencies.
The top executives of both companies said they spent six months discussing the all-stock deal, calling it a "merger of equals" that complement each others business. The new company will be based at Orbital's campus in Dulles and Orbital CEO David Thompson will lead it. Thompson will be president and CEO of the new company.
“This merger-of-equals combination of Orbital and ATK Aerospace and Defense brings together two of the space and defense industry’s most innovative developers and cost-efficient manufacturers who have worked closely together for over 25 years,” Thompson said in a statement.