Alliant Techsystems Inc., the only maker of reusable solid-rocket motors for the U.S. space shuttle fleet, can receive new government contracts for its launch- systems group after the Air Force ended an 11-day-old ban.
The ban, which began Jan. 31, was lifted Monday, said Air Force spokesman Capt. Tom Wenz, in a statement. He declined to comment on the reasons the ban was terminated.
The Air Force issued the ban as part of its lawsuit against Alliant, based in Edina, Minn., over the sale of $100 million in illumination flares used in search-and-rescue operations, which the service called defective. Alliant denies those claims and filed a motion in federal court to dismiss the lawsuit.
The launch-systems division provided $1.08 billion, or 30 percent, of Alliant's $3.56 billion in sales for the year ended March 2007. The unit makes first-stage and launch-abort systems for NASA's new Ares I rocket. Alliant has 4,585 employees in Utah at seven facilities.
"The company has been working closely with senior Air Force officials to resolve the issue," Alliant said in a statement Monday. The statement didn't provide details on why the ban was lifted.
The temporary ban had no "material effect" on the company's business and didn't result in the loss of any contracts, the statement said.