By Geoff Fein

After months of delays and disappointments, ATK [ATK] on Monday successfully fired its Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM), with one of the rounds hitting the target at range, according to the Navy.

ATK’s BTERM was an alternative approach to Raytheon’s [RTN] Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) for a 5-inch munition.

These tests were the first BTERM flight tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., since January 2008, according to the Navy.

In March, the Navy terminated its Extended Range Munition (ERM) effort after Raytheon was unable to demonstrate reliability or consistency in ERGM tests.

The Navy has since said it is going to embark on a new ERM analysis of alternatives (Defense Daily, March 26).

Since then, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin [LMT] said they were partnering to develop a 5-inch precision-guided Extended Range Munition for the Navy.

According to an industry source, ATK had about $1 million it could put toward development and testing of BTERM.

While the company said in March it would continue to pursue development of BTERM, it gave no indication that tests were planned for the round.

The Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Naval Gunnery Project Office (PEO IWS 3C) said last Monday it concluded the four-year BTERM engineering demonstration following a successful series of flight tests conducted at WSMR.

Of the three planned guided flight tests, all achieved full rocket motor burn. One of the three BTERM rounds successfully hit its target at a range of 54 nautical miles. Two of the three rounds traveled greater than 50 nautical miles, but fell well outside of the designated aim point, the Navy said.

“While today’s test will be the last event for the BTERM project, the successful test at White Sands was a positive step forward for ATK as we now believe they have corrected rocket motor problems which have challenged the program for several years,” Capt. Lee Bond, PEO IWS major program manager for Surface Ship Weapons, said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide long-range precision and volume fires to meet the Marine Corps’ naval surface fire support requirements.”