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Alliant lands contracts totaling $1.8 million from Spanish firm

HOPKINS, Minn. — Alliant Techsystems said Tuesday that its ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Co., based in Clearfield, has been awarded contracts worth about $1.8 million from EADS CASA Espacio of Madrid, Spain, to produce composite structures for a space launch vehicle.

ATK will produce composites for the Ariane 5, the first new-generation heavy-lift launcher to enter commercial service.

Under a nine-month contract valued at about $1 million, the company will fabricate a composite adapter that serves as a link between the Ariane 5 vehicle's upper stage and the payload. A second contract worth approximately $800,000 calls for the company to produce additional interstage skirts, which connect the lower and upper stages of the vehicle. Those additional flight models represent a follow-on to an original $4 million contract awarded in 1999.

Work under both contracts will be done at the company's Southern Composites Center in Iuka, Miss., a 325,000-square-foot production facility that opened in 1998.

CASA, which stands for Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A., is Spain's largest aerospace company and a founding member of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. EADS is the third-largest aerospace company in the world and the largest company in Europe.

ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Co. is part of ATK's Aerospace segment, which comprises the corporation's propulsion and composite structures operations. The segment employs about 2,300 people in Utah, California, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, New York and West Virginia.

ATK, based in Hopkins, Minn., has about 6,000 employees in three business segments: conventional munitions, aerospace and defense systems.