Orbital ATK Bacchus facility
Orbital ATK is developing a new rocket that could eventually compete for Air Force missions. Credit: Orbital ATK

WASHINGTON — Orbital Sciences Corp. and ATK completed their merger Feb. 9, forming a $4.5 billion aerospace and defense company employing 12,500 people across 17 states.

The merged company, known as Orbital ATK, Inc., is headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, where Orbital Sciences was founded in 1982. Orbital founder David Thompson is chief executive of the combined company. Thompson’s chief operating officer, Blake Larson, served as president of ATK’s Aerospace Group prior to the merger.

As part of the all-stock transaction, ATK spun off its small firearms business into a new company called Vista Outdoor and gave its stockholders two shares of Vista stock for every share of ATK common stock they held on Feb. 2. Orbital stockholders receive 0.449 shares of Orbital ATK common stock for every one share of Orbital common stock, according to a Feb. 9 press release announcing the merger’s completion. The new company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange Feb. 10 under the ticker symbol OA.

Orbital ATK is organized into three separate business groups. The largest of the three is the Defense Systems Group, a $1.9 billion portfolio that combines both companies’ tactical missile-related business with ATK’s military munitions business. ATK’s Michael Kahn, will lead the 4,900-person group, according to recently updated Orbital ATK organization charts.

The organization chart included in a February 2015 Orbital ATK presentation on the newly merged company.
The organization chart included in a February 2015 Orbital ATK presentation on the newly merged company.

Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, led by Orbital veteran and former NASA astronaut Ronald Grabe, is a $1.4 billion portfolio combining Orbital’s Pegasus, Minotaur and Antares launch vehicles and missile defense interceptor and target work with ATK’s solid-propulsion and aerostructures businesses.  The group will employ 4,500 people with major operations in Arizona, Utah, Virginia, Ohio, Alabama and Mississippi, Orbital ATK org charts show.

The Space Systems Group, with annual sales of $1.2 billion, will be led by Orbital’s Frank Culbertson and will oversee a product line that includes commercial, scientific and national security satellites, human spaceflight systems, space components, engineering services, and research rockket and scientific balloon services. The group will employ approximately 2,700 people in Virginia, Maryland, California, Arizona, Texas and Utah.

Orbital ATK_Flight Systems Group Overview

Orbital ATK Space Systems Group Overview


Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...