Nammo to supply Ariane 6 with rocket motors

ArianeGroup awards Nammo a multi-million Euro frame contract to support Ariane6 Launch Vehicle with separation rocket motors (A6 DR_SR).

Nammo continues to support European Space with supply of rocket motors

Raufoss, Norway – March 26, 2022

A6 DR_SR is actually a heritage product initially developed for the A5 launch vehicle, which over the last 30 years has performed flawlessly separating the P241 boosters from its main stage. For the newly developed Ariane6 launch vehicle, the Nammo rocket motor has seen several modifications and improvements focusing on phasing out obsolete materials and improving components production cost. On A6 the Nammo product will safely separate the newly developed P120 booster after burn out.

“Being a part of the European space industry is motivating and has also a  learning effect. Both the project team and the various production teams at Nammo benefit from working together with the space industry. The expectations from the customer are high and we have to perform at a high level every day” says Stian Flatebø, Program Manager at Nammo Raufoss’ space division.

Nammo will supply Ariane 6 with separation rocket motors. Here Nammo’s program manager Stian Flatebø (left) and Nammo’s VP Space Kristian Lium (right), with the separation motor between them. Photo: Nammo

The factory at Raufoss, with its highly skilled workers, are manufacturing a major part of the A6 DR_SR in-house. Forming and machining the motor case structure, pressing and forming of insulation components, precision machining of metallic components, mixing and casting of propellant grain, surface treatment, complete assembly and final acceptance testing are all processes being performed at Raufoss.

“Having all this activity in-house is a key factor for being able to meet customer demands and making sure we are able to improve in every part of the manufacturing process. The short distance, both physically and within the organization, is also a key-factor for our engineers to ensure further development and to secure that the products we make reach space in the best way possible”.

Close-up of an A6 SR_DR rocket motor. Photo: Nammo

“Being selected by Ariane Group to continue with a legacy product on A6 is a manifestation of Nammo’s ability to innovate and applying lean principles in production to stay competitive.” Says Kristian Lium, Vice President of Nammo Raufoss’ space division. “The Ariane Group launcher remains an important part of Nammo’s portfolio of niche rocket motors for space applications and will hopefully represent a stable revenue stream for the company for decades to come. Even though Nammo is aggressively developing new products and technologies like monopropellant systems for VEGA-C, bi-liquid engines for NASA’s ARTEMIS missions and hybrid rocket engines for micro launcher applications, Nammo will work to maintain its position as market leader for small solid propulsion rocket motors in European Space.”

Nammo’s contract with ESA has a value of around 500 million kroner (53 million USD), over 20 years.

A6 DR-SR motors packed and ready for shipment. Photo: Nammo