Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems


Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS) was a sector (business segment) of Northrop Grumman from 2018 through 2019. It was formed out of Orbital ATK Inc. a company which resulted from the merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and parts of Alliant Techsystems in 2015. Orbital ATK was purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2018.[3] Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems designed, built, and delivered space, defense, and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. It had a workforce of approximately 12,000 employees dedicated to aerospace and defense including about 4,000 engineers and scientists; 7,000 manufacturing and operations specialists; and 1,000 management and administration personnel.[2] With Northrop Grumman's reorganization of its divisions effective 1 January 2020, NGIS was split, with most of the sector merging with other Northrop Grumman businesses into a new Space Systems sector.[4]

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
TypeOperating Division
IndustrySpace industry
Aerospace industry
Defense industry
  • February 9, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-02-09) (as Orbital ATK)
  • June 5, 2018 (2018-06-05)[1] (as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)
Defunct1 January 2020
SuccessorNorthrop Grumman Space Systems
Area served
Key people
  • David W. Thompson (President and CEO)
  • Blake E. Larson (COO)
  • Garrett E. Pierce (CFO)
  • Antonio L. Elias (CTO)
ProductsElectronics, Rocket engines, Military vehicles, Firearms, Autocannons, Missiles, Ammunition, Precision-guided munitions, Satellites, Missile approach warning systems, Launch vehicles, Spacecraft
RevenueDecreaseUS$4.455 billion (2016)
IncreaseUS$293 million (2016)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$5.418 billion (2016)
Total equityIncreaseUS$1.817 billion (2016)
Number of employees
~12,500[2] (2016)
WebsiteInnovation Systems at the Wayback Machine (archived 23 June 2019)


Former logo of Orbital ATK, the company's original name following the merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and the supoff aerospace division of Alliant Techsystems.

A merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and the defense and aerospace divisions of Alliant Techsystems (ATK) was announced on 29 April 2014. The two companies had collaborated on several previous projects, including the use of 400 ATK rocket motors in Orbital's launch vehicles.[5] The deal officially closed on 9 February 2015. ATK's sporting-goods division spun off to form Vista Outdoor on the same day.[6]

On 18 September 2017, Northrop Grumman announced plans to purchase Orbital ATK for US$7.8 billion in cash plus assumption of US$1.4 billion in debt.[7] Orbital ATK shareholders approved the buyout on 29 November 2017.[8] The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the acquisition with conditions on 5 June 2018, and on 6 June 2018, Orbital ATK was absorbed and became Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.[9][10]


Flight Systems GroupEdit

Based in Chandler, Arizona,[6] the Flight Systems Group includes the Pegasus, Minotaur, and Antares launch vehicles as well as solid-propulsion and aerostructures programs.[1] The company also operates a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar wide body jetliner, which is named Stargazer and is used to air launch Pegasus rockets carrying payloads into space.[11] The Stargazer aircraft is also used for testing under specific programs. The Flight Systems Group became part of Northrop Grumman Space Systems on 1 January 2020.

Defense Systems GroupEdit

The Defense Systems Group, based in the Baltimore, Maryland[6] area, produces tactical missiles, defense electronics, and medium- and large-caliber ammunition. The division also produces fuzing and warheads for both tactical missiles and munitions; precision metal and composite structures for medium and large-caliber ammunition, military aircraft, ground vehicles, and missile systems; load, assembly, and pack (LAP) of medium caliber munitions; and propellants and powders for the canister and commercial markets. The Defense Systems Group became part of Northrop Grumman Defense Systems on 1 January 2020.

Space Systems GroupEdit

Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group provides satellites for commercial, scientific, and security purposes.[1] This group also produces the Cygnus spacecraft, which delivers cargo to the International Space Station. The group is based at the company's headquarters on Warp Drive in Dulles, Virginia.[6] The Space Systems Group became part of Northrop Grumman Space Systems on 1 January 2020.



2016 Oshkosh L-ATV (configured as a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) equipped with EOS R-400S-MK2 remote weapon system integrated with Orbital ATK's M230-LF 30 mm lightweight automatic chain gun.
A product of Orbital ATK: The machine cannon M242 Bushmaster as standard armament of the infantry fighting vehicle M2 Bradley. Orbital ATK holds a trademark on the term "chain gun".
  • Antares, two- or three-stage medium-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur I, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur IV, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur V, five-stage launch vehicle used for geosynchronous transfer orbits and trans-lunar orbits
  • Minotaur VI, five-stage medium-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Minotaur-C, four-stage small-lift expendable launch vehicle
  • Pegasus, air-launched four-stage small-lift launch vehicle
  • OmegA, A cancelled medium to heavy lift launch vehicle.

Rocket enginesEdit


The spacecraft Cygnus transporting cargo to the ISS on behalf of NASA.



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Berger, Brian (February 12, 2015). "Orbital ATK Org Charts Detail the Newly Merged Company". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Company Overview". Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Orbital ATK will become Northrop Grumman's fourth business sector". 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  4. ^ "Northrop launches new divisions focused on space, cyber, unmanned tech". 20 September 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-09-23. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  5. ^ Aitoro, Jill R. (April 29, 2014). "Why the merger of ATK and Orbital Sciences makes sense". Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d Wall, Mike (February 10, 2015). "Orbital ATK, Merger of Orbital Sciences and ATK, Begins Operations". Archived from the original on April 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Northrop Grumman to Acquire Orbital ATK for $9.2 Billion" (PDF) (Press release). Falls Church and Dulles, Virginia: Northrop Grumman Corporation. September 18, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Orbital ATK Shareholders Vote to Approve Acquisition by Northrop Grumman". (Press release). Falls Church, Virginia: Northrop Grumman Corporation. November 29, 2017. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  9. ^ "FTC Imposes Conditions on Northrop Grumman's Acquisition of Solid Rocket Motor Supplier Orbital ATK, Inc" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission. June 5, 2018. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ Erwin, Sandra (June 5, 2018). "Acquisition of Orbital ATK approved, company renamed Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems". SpaceNews. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Orbital ATK". Archived from the original on 2018-06-01. Retrieved 2020-08-23.
  12. ^ "30mm & 20mm x 173mm Munition System". Archived from the original on 2017-07-02. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  13. ^ "Brochure" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-11-28.