The Air Force has awarded a $194.5 million contract to Thiokol for continued full-scale design, development and testing of a booster for the Midgetman missile.

All work for the stage I solid rocket motor booster for the missile, technically called the Small Intercontintal Ballistic Missile (ICBM), will be performed at the Thiokol's Wasatch Division near Brigham City.The contract will run from this week through April 15, 1996. Included as part of the $194.5 million is a contract option worth $83.5 million that would continue the program beyond 1996.

The contract was announced by Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, who said, "The small ICBM program is vital to our future nuclear deterrent capability."

And since deferral last year of much of the rail garrison program for the MX missile, Hansen said "the Midgetman seems to have taken on increased emphasis."

Air Force officials have said the Midgetman is scheduled to go into full production as early as fiscal 1997. Hansen said the program should provide a continuing source of work for Thiokol in Utah.