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Thiokol Propulsion, a division of Cordant Technologies Inc., successfully completed the first qualification test of the STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) Third-Stage Rocket Motor (TSRM). The test was conducted last Friday at simulated high altitude operating conditions at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Thiokol's Elkton, Maryland, facility is under contract to Raytheon Company to develop, build and qualify the TSRM for the STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) program, a U.S. Navy Theatre Wide Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense Program.

The TSRM is a two-pulse motor with each pulse independently ignited during flight to provide extended range to the SM-3 missile. Today's test was the third success of three motors tested in the Edwards Air Force Base altitude chamber. A total of six Thiokol motors have been successfully tested on the program to date.

This first qualification motor was representative of a flight motor configuration with an integrated attitude control system. The motor assembly was subjected to all flight operating environments prior to successful completion of this test.

In the upcoming weeks, the attitude control system will be removed from the motor assembly and static tested on a specially designed multi-component test stand in Thiokol's altitude chamber as part of the continuing qualification test series. Two additional TSRM qualification tests are planned.

Successful qualification testing of the TSRM validates Thiokol's compliance with the SM-3 missile requirements and keeps the SM-3 program on track for the next planned flight test (FTR-1) in July 2000. The FTR-1 test will be the first flight round to include a TSRM in the Navy's demonstration of this critical propulsion subsystem.

Defence Systems Daily, 09.05.2000