(ATK) Alliant Techsystems Gears to Boost Aircraft Business

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), at the Paris Air Show, announced that its state-of-the-art Aircraft Commercial Center of Excellence (ACCE) in Clearfield, Utah, is soon to go online. Alliant expects the opening of this facility to take the company’s aircraft composite business to the next level.

Spread across an area 615,000 square feet, the new consolidated manufacturing center will create a full spectrum engineering and manufacturing center for commercial composite aircraft structures and components. The facility has been designed to meet the robust demands of the commercial aircraft marketplace and therefore holds the capacity of manufacturing more than 10,000 parts per month.

Alliant said that the new state-of-the-art facility will use patented automated stiffener forming technology for both linear and radial airframe structures. These structures will be capable of producing nearly 25 miles of composite structures per month, large diameter autoclaves capable of curing parts in excess of 22 meters in length, engine case wrap capability and assembly, CNC machining, water jet capability, and automated ultrasonic and non-destructive inspection systems.

The new facility will function as the headquarters for ATK Aerospace Structures’ commercial aircraft programs. Alliant said the new facility will support the manufacturing of commercial airframes and engine components for the Airbus A350, and General Electric and Rolls-Royce engine programs.

Alliant expects the ACCE facility to increase its capacity dramatically enabling it to support commercial aircraft development massively for both domestic and international markets. The anticipated completion date for all construction activities at the facility is July 2011, with a grand opening to be held in August.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Alliant Techsystems supplies aerospace and defense products to U.S. government agencies, and its prime contractors and sub-contractors. The company also supplies ammunition and related accessories to law enforcement agencies and commercial customers.

We retain our long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on the stock, supported by a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). On a competitive landscape, the company is ranked at par with its closest peers General Dynamics Corp. (GD) and Raytheon Co. (RTN), who also carry a Zacks #3 Rank

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