WASHINGTON — Adranos, a startup that manufactures solid rocket motors, announced Sept. 8 it opened a fuel-production facility in Indiana.

The facility will produce an aluminum-lithium alloy solid rocket fuel called ALITEC to power solid rocket motors used in tactical missiles and space launch vehicles. 

The company said the ALITEC fuel was tested on U.S. military tactical solid rocket motors, but has not disclosed specific customers. “At the moment, we are on contract with both commercial space and defense customers,” said Adranos vice president Michael Grasso. “We are designing, manufacturing, and testing ALITEC-fueled motors to demonstrate their performance enhancement over traditional systems.”

With the new facility in Indiana, said Grasso, “we can produce ALITEC in large enough quantities to support additional customers, especially those that require large volumes of solid rocket fuel.” 

The company is manufacturing solid rocket motors in coastal Mississippi, with the goal to become a Defense Department supplier and compete for orders against dominant providers Northrop Grumman and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

The Purdue Research Foundation and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation provided significant funding for the new facility, located in the Purdue Research Park. ALITEC was invented at Purdue University by Adranos co-founder and chief technology officer Brandon Terry. 

“In the last three years, Adranos has worked with its Department of Defense and commercial customers to demonstrate the substantial performance increase that ALITEC fuel delivers,” said Adranos co-founder and CEO Chris Stoker. “With this facility completed, we can produce ALITEC at scales necessary to meet the needs of national security and commercial space customers.”

The company in April announced a $20 million Series A funding round.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...