Orbital Sciences Corporation and Alliant Techsystems are merging their aerospace and defense business forming Orbital ATK in a $5 billion merger deal, the companies announced. “The proposed merger will generate cost and revenue synergies and create a more streamlined and competitive operator,” said ATK Chief Executive Officer Mark DeYoung, in Orbital’s April 29 release. The combined firm’s holdings will span the two companies’ entire current satellite, space launch, missile, weapons, military electronics, and aircraft systems lines, according to the release. Orbital ATK will employ a 13,000-strong workforce of engineers and technicians across 17 states. “This merger-of-equals … brings together two of the space and defense industry’s most innovative developers and cost-efficient manufacturers who have worked closely together for over 25 years,” said Orbital Chief Executive Officer David Thompson, who also will serve as president and CEO of the new company. “Orbital ATK will deliver even more affordable space, defense and aviation systems to our existing customers and be strongly positioned to expand into adjacent areas,” he added. Former Air Force Chief of Staff retired Gen. Ronald Fogleman will lead the combined firm’s board of directors, the companies stated.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.