Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
Company typeOperating Division
IndustrySpace industry
Aerospace industry
Defense industry
  • February 9, 2015; 9 years ago (2015-02-09) (as Orbital ATK)
  • June 5, 2018 (2018-06-05)[1] (as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)
DefunctJanuary 1, 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 June 23, 2019)

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS) was a sector (business segment) of Northrop Grumman from 2018 through 2019. It was formed from 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 January 1, 2020, NGIS was split, with most of the sector merging with other Northrop Grumman businesses into a new Space Systems sector.[4]


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 April 29, 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 February 9, 2015. ATK's sporting-goods division spun off to form Vista Outdoor on the same day.[6]

On September 18, 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 November 29, 2017.[8] The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the acquisition with conditions on June 5, 2018, and on June 6, 2018, Orbital ATK was absorbed and became Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.[9][10]


Flight Systems Group

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 January 1, 2020.

Defense Systems Group

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 January 1, 2020.

Space Systems Group

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 January 1, 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".

Rocket engines


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



See also


  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 July 5, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "Orbital ATK will become Northrop Grumman's fourth business sector". June 6, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Northrop launches new divisions focused on space, cyber, unmanned tech". September 20, 2019. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  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. Public Domain 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 June 1, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "30mm & 20mm x 173mm Munition System". Archived from the original on July 2, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "Brochure" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 29, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.