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 WASHINGTON, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and U.S.-based defense contractor Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) today announced the formation of a joint stock company to demilitarize (dismantle and reclaim) surplus conventional munitions. The metals and chemicals obtained through the demilitarization of Ukrainian munitions will be sold on the world market.
 "We believe this unique approach, which is private sector-based and strictly commercial in nature, is an excellent solution to an important need," said Toby G. Warson, president and chief executive officer, Alliant Techsystems. Partners in the new company, called Alliant Kyyiv (Kiev), are Alliant Techsystems; Rapierbase, Ltd., a British trading company with experience in the newly Independent States; and the Ukrainian government.
 "Ukraine has inherited massive armed forces and military stockpiles of ammunition from the former Soviet Union. Not having any territorial claims on others and believing that issues can only be resolved through peaceful means, Ukraine has embarked on a major demilitarization program," said Konstantin P. Morozov, minister of Defense, Ukraine. "A significant step in this direction is the formation of this joint venture to demilitarize conventional munitions."
 "Our approach to this business is good for Ukraine, the United States, and Alliant Techsystems," said Warson. "As a defense company, our business charter is to further the national security interests of the United States. Our demilitarization business does this by helping speed the transition of Ukraine to a free market economy and by reducing the global stockpile of weapons. Forming Alliant Kyyiv also is the first major step in what we believe will be a profitable business for our company."
 Initial demilitarization operations are expected to generate more than $100 million in sales for Alliant Kyyiv over the next five years, said Warson. The Ukrainian government already has begun disassembling munitions at the ammunition storage site near the town of Icnja (Ich- nee-ya), approximately 150 kilometers northeast of Kyyiv. This will be the site of Alliant Kyyiv's initial plant. Current plans call for additional modular plants at ammunition storage sites throughout Ukraine. State-of-the-art equipment is being shipped from the United States to Ukraine. At Icnja, brass cases have been disassembled and are ready for shipment. Scrap metals in the inventory include brass, steel, copper and aluminum. Minneapolis-based K.W.A. Metals will serve as consultant for the marketing of the scrap metals and on scrap metal preparation and handling.
 Ten Ukrainians currently support the operation at Icnja and Kyyiv, according to Kenneth J. Jenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Alliant Techsystems. Alliant Kyyiv expects to employ more than 100 people from Ukraine when the operation hits full production in the coming year.
 Demilitarization Market
 Alliant Techsystems is pursuing the demilitarization market in both the United States and internationally. Alliant Techsystems expects to invest approximately $15 million in capital equipment for its worldwide demilitarization operations, including Alliant Kyyiv.
 "We estimate the world market at more than 35 million metric tons of munitions and platforms (such as tanks, with a reclamation value of somewhere between $3 billion and $5 billion," said Warson. "We currently are pursuing demilitarization opportunities in other newly Independent States."
 In the United States, the responsible disposal of munitions is considered part of the life cycle of a weapons system and is required in many military contracts, said Warson. For example, Alliant Techsystems' current production contract for the MK 50 lightweight torpedo includes demilitarizing the boilers used to power the torpedo.
 "The U.S. is planning an aggressive program to demilitarize the thousands of tons of stockpiled munitions in its inventory," said Warson. "We are pursuing opportunities to work with the U.S. government to do that in a cost-effective, environmentally safe manner."
 Environmentally Friendly Demilitarization Process
 "Disposal methods of unwanted munitions used around the world have included open-air burning and detonation, ocean dumping, and land burial," said Warson. "These methods are unacceptable given today's environmental concerns and waste valuable byproducts."
 Alliant Techsystems' approach dismantles the conventional munitions and reclaims the various components rather than simply destroying the munitions. Based on the company's systems management expertise, it has established a modular, standardized approach for large-scale demilitarization projects, such as those undertaken by Alliant Kyyiv. The munitions are separated into components, and the energetics, such as explosives and propellants, are removed using a proprietary water process. The scrap metals are sold on the world's scrap metal market. Energetics can be converted into commercial mining explosives or alternative energy sources using new technology, such as induction coupled plasma.
 Alliant Techsystems recently entered into a joint venture with Plasma Technology, Inc., Santa Fe, N.M., which is demonstrating that induction plasma technology can convert energetics into alternate forms of energy.
 "Our partners from Ukraine are enthusiastic about the potential energy and byproducts that can be produced," said Jenson. "This technology not only would supply much needed fuel and electricity, but it also would provide an acceptable technical solution for disposal of liquid and solid rocket fuel."
 Alliant Techsystems also uses expertise gained in the safe manufacture of munitions to provide for safe disassembly. "Alliant Kyyiv employees will follow stringent safety procedures, based on U.S. military safety requirements," said Jenson.
 As the leading munitions supplier to the United States Department of Defense, Alliant Techsystems has more than 50 years of experience in munitions design, engineering, integration, and management.
 Alliant Techsystems supplies defense and marine systems to the U.S. government and its allies. Sales in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1993, were $1.0 billion. The company is headquartered in Edina, Minn., and employs 4,100 people throughout the United States.
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 /CONTACT: Coleen Southwell, 612-939-2709, or Rod Bitz, 612-939-2646, both of Alliant Techsystems; or Jay Hyde of Burson- Marsteller, 202-833-4481, for Alliant Techsystems/

CO: Alliant Techsystems, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: ARO SU: TNM

TJ -- MN001 -- 6594 07/28/93 08:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1993

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