On Tuesday, Alliant TechSystems (NYSE: ATK ) announced that it has won a $17 million U.S. Air Force contract to supply rocket motors for AIM-9P Sidewinder customers under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
The specific foreign nation buying the Sidewinder motors was not specified, but several U.S. allies -- among them Bahrain, Pakistan, Chile, Taiwan, and several NATO countries -- are believed to still have AIM-9Ps in stock.
The AIM-9P is a Sidewinder variant first developed in the 1970s. As such, these rocket motors are not likely to be for use on new rockets. Indeed, in a statement announcing the sale, Alliant noted that "many international inventories of the AIM-9P Sidewinder are aging beyond the missile's period of expected use in service," implying that Alliant is "restarting" production of the rocket motor for the express purpose of upgrading and returning to serviceability stockpiles of already-sold rockets in foreign inventories.
Alliant TechSystems shares closed down 0.8% despite news of the sale, ending the day at $65.35.