Air & Space

Alion designs, develops, and modernizes a range of advanced aircraft and spacecraft platforms, using our leading-edge technology, in-depth operational experience, and national security expertise.
The need for American military dominance above the ground — and above the Earth — is now more critical than ever. As national security leaders work to quickly evolve military capabilities in air and space, Alion stands ready with proven platforms and technologies to help the U.S. regain the lead.

We have supported air and space programs for the DoD — from inventing the “snow white” coating used on spacecraft to designing and producing unmanned future concept vehicles — for more than 40 years. And, since the initial charter for the Space Technology Evaluation & Assessments (STE&A) activities in 2004, Alion has provided the operational expertise to understand new warfighter needs as well as generate potential concepts of employment and capabilities driven by technology. Our technical and engineering expertise covers the entire lifecycle of these essential military systems, from concept through to sustainment.



Our engineers analyze, design, develop, and maintain various air and space systems— from complete platforms to integrated weapon systems to secure, emerging technology solutions.


With a dedicated cyber development and integration lab, we support complete weapon systems cyber security, including certification, accreditation, acquisition, and protection.


We offer logistics design and technology transition solutions to help clients manage acquisition, sustainment, and modernization processes and achieve maximum readiness.


Alion provides development planning for air and space weapon systems, including open system architecture maturity, joint capability integration, and business or materiel analysis.


The four RS-25 engines

The four RS-25 engines fired for a little more than one minute and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust.

On Saturday January 16, 2021, Alion personnel supporting the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) participated in the hot fire of the Boeing SLS Core Stage at the John C. Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, MS.  Echoing distant memories of Saturn era testing, the most powerful rocket ever created by man, SLS planned an 8-minute hot fire test shut down. The 212-foot tall Core Stage, the tallest rocket stage the agency has ever built, is the basis for all Block 1 configurations of the SLS launch system.

Alion personnel provided system engineering and programmatic oversight support of the SLS Core Stage design, development, and verification as well as programmatic support of the MSFC in-house SLS Flight Software (FSW) development, test and verification and the re-design, test, and verification of the Aerojet/Rocketdyne RS-25 engine. Boeing Core Stage delivery to SSC.

Alion personnel supported the ongoing integration and testing culminating in the hot fire that included onsite and remote support of Wet Dress Rehearsals (WDR) and monitored and conducted real time health assessments on Core Stage instrumentation.

Alion Huntsville Portfolio Manager Kathy DeWeese said, “Alion is pleased to be supporting the future of the space programs and the test-fire of the first SLS mega-rocket for moon missions.”

After refurbishment and shipping to the launch site at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), integration of Core Stage with other SLS Block 1 components, the Orion spacecraft, and the two Thiokol solid rocket boosters occurs in preparation for the first integrated flight.

Alion personnel will support the integration and launch site activities of all Artemis components under the Engineering Services and Science Capability Augmentation (ESSCA) and Marshall Integrated Program Planning (MIPSS) contracts.  Artemis I will launch later in calendar year 2021.


We work closely with program managers and engineers of all USAF fighters and bombers — including the F-35 — to identify enhancements for each lifecycle phase and acquisition milestone. From air worthiness, reliability, and qualification testing to cybersecurity and system safety, we develop engineering analysis and assessments for fighter/bomber airframes as well as systems and subsystems.

As part of this work, we have mitigated serious challenges stressing the fighter-bomber communities, such as spare parts availability, sustainment of aging fleets, lagging B-1/B-52 mission capability (MC) rates, decreasing F-15D/F16D MC rates, decreasing B-1 inherent MTBF, and the upcoming B-21 development. Building on our ISR work, we also standardized processes to determine failure modes, reliability metrics, and levels of repair to analyze and develop supply, maintenance, transportation, risk, cost, and training plans for an overall Life Cycle Sustainment Plan.

Our SMEs also evaluate system and platform architecture, assess security controls implementation, analyze assessment results, and document residual operational risks in support of Risk Management Framework (RMF)Platform Information Technology (PIT) Assessment and Authorization activities, most recently achieving a 3-year full Authority to Operate for the MC-130J aircraft. In building Information Support Plans (ISP), we have supported numerous programs, including the MC-130J Common Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance Radar System (MCTF) Implementation. We created DoDAF architectural views and products to ensure these system platforms comply with the DoD’s Net-Ready Key Performance Parameters.


We implement cyber security into the design and development of every weapon system throughout its acquisition lifecycle. Our SMEs analyze and report cyber security risks to weapon system platforms in support of Platform Information Technology (PIT) Certification and Accreditation, IAW Risk Management Framework requirements. We have provided numerous products to ensure these system platforms comply with the DoD’s Net-Ready Key Performance Parameter, including support for the MC-130J Common Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance Radar System (MCTF) Implementation, for which the Alion team delivered its Platform Information Technology (PIT) Determination Package and Cybersecurity Strategy.


Terri Walker-Spoonhour, Senior Vice President, Operations and Acting SVP and General Manager, Cyber Network Solutions
Terri Walker-Spoonhour is Acting SVP and General Manager of Alion’s Cyber Network Solutions Group. She leads a portfolio of programs and capabilities delivering cross-domain network engineering, cyber hardening and operations; modeling and simulation; live, virtual and constructive training; and big data analysis, cloud architecture and integrated Ai.

Terri is also the Senior Vice President of Operations for Alion Science and Technology. In this role, she is responsible for the overall health of Alion’s business portfolio to include program performance, business planning and strategy, program management training and development, performance measurement, and resource management.

To learn more about Alion's air and space solutions, contact us today.

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