Puneet Varma (Editor)

Sierra Nevada Corporation

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Type  Private
Number of employees  ~3000
Founded  1963
Industry  Aerospace
Website  sncorp.com
Owners  Fatih Ozmen, Eren Ozmen
Sierra Nevada Corporation jobsdesignenginecomwpcontentuploads201603S

Products  Spacecraft Telemedicine Navigation and Guidance Information Management C4ISR Electronic Protection Cybersecurity
Headquarters  Sparks, Nevada, United States
Motto  Innovative & Agile Technology Solutions
Subsidiaries  SpaceDev, Aviation Resources De. Inc.

Sierra nevada corporation s dream chaser highlight video

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is an American privately held electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, telemedicine, and commercial orbital transportation services. Sierra Nevada Corporation operates under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer, Fatih Ozmen and President, Eren Ozmen. The company contracts with the US military, NASA and private spaceflight companies. It is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada.


SNC supports business areas, subsidiaries and affiliates with nearly 3,000 personnel at 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey.

Sierra nevada corporation s multi role enforcement aircraft


The company was founded in 1963 by John Chisholm. It started as a small business with a few employees, working out of an airplane hangar in Stead, Nevada. It was acquired in 1994 by husband and wife Fatih Ozmen and Eren Ozmen. Fatih Ozmen was one of the original employees hired by Chisholm in 1981. Sierra Nevada Corporation is now a privately held company under the leadership and sole ownership of Chief Executive Officer, Fatih Ozmen and President, Eren Ozmen.

SNC's Space Systems (Previously SpaceDev)

On December 16, 2008 SNC announced it had completed its acquisition of SpaceDev. SNC is now developing an orbital spacecraft called the Dream Chaser.

Dream Chaser Manned Spacecraft

On February 1, 2010, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded $20 million in seed money in phase 1 of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program for the development of the Dream Chaser. Of the $50 million awarded in the phase 1 CCDev program, Dream Chaser's award represents the largest share of the funds.

On August 3, 2012, NASA announced new agreements with the Sierra Nevada Corporation and two other companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years. Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers. As part of this agreement, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded $212.5 million, ostensibly to continue development and testing of its Dream Chaser spacecraft. The Dream Chaser is a revival of NASA's HL-20 Personnel Launch System lifting-body design.

On July 24, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation signed a letter of cooperation with Tuskegee University to collaborate on efforts related to SNC’s Dream Chaser.

On August 1, 2014, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corporation unveiled the composite airframe of the Dream Chaser which will be used to conduct the first orbital launch in 2016.

Internally the Dream Chaser program team is frequently referred to as the “Dream Team.” The team includes well-known aerospace industry partners such as Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance, NASA centers and universities across the United States, small businesses such as Craig Technologies, as well as the European, German and Japanese.

On September 16, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation lost the CCtCap contract to SpaceX and Boeing, which were chosen by NASA as the two companies that will be funded to develop systems to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station. Boeing won $4.2B and SpaceX won $2.6B to complete and certify their spacecraft by 2017. NASA deemed SNC's proposal as less mature than the others. In the selection statement, Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA’s human exploration and operations directorate, explained the decision by stating that “a winged spacecraft is a more complex design and thus entails more developmental and certification challenges, and therefore may have more technical and schedule risk than expected,” and "I consider SNC's design to be at the lowest level of maturity, with significantly more technical work and critical design decisions to accomplish. [...] SNC's proposal also has more schedule uncertainty."

Two weeks after losing the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) competition to SpaceX and Boeing on September 16, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation announced it has designed a launch system that combines a scale version of the company’s Dream Chaser space plane with the Stratolaunch Systems air launch system. Earlier the same week, Sierra Nevada introduced the Dream Chaser Global Project, which would provide customized access to low Earth orbit to global customers.

On November 5, 2014 during the Space Traffic Management Conference at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, SNC's Space Systems team presented the challenges and opportunities related to landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft at public-use airports. According to the presentation, "Unlike the Space Shuttle, the Dream Chaser does not require any unique landing aids or specialized equipment as it uses all non-toxic propellants and industry standard subsystems."

Despite not being selected to continue forward under NASA’s Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase of the effort to send crews to orbit via private companies, SNC is still completing milestones under earlier phases of the CCP. On December 2, 2014 SNC announced that it completed NASA’s CCiCap Milestone 5a related to propulsion risk reduction for the Dream Chaser space system.

On January 14, 2016, SNC was awarded by NASA, within the framework of Commercial Resupply Services, and along with SpaceX and Orbital ATK, a second round (CRS-2) contract for resupply to the International Space Station between 2019 and 2024, guaranteeing a minimum of six launches. SNC will use United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket as a launch vehicle.


SNC was the prime contractor on RocketMotorTwo for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, and designed the rocket engine for Scaled Composites, including the one for SpaceshipOne. On April 29, 2013 SpaceShipTwo completed its first powered flight test using RocketMotorTwo.

After losing the bid for NASA commercial crew, Sierra Nevada reduced staff working on RocketMotorTwo in September 2014. In late November, SNC announced the permanent closure of their Poway, California propulsion development facility as they intend to consolidate all propulsion activity in one location, at the facilities of Orbital Technologies Corp.

Spacecraft Systems

As announced on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, the United States Department of Defense awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems with a contract to develop and build a next-generation science and technology demonstration satellite, known as STPSat-5, for their Space Test Program.

Key Capabilities, Products & Contracts

On January 2, 2015, SNC announced that the United States Army awarded a $17 million follow-on Low Rate Initial Production contract to manufacture Mobile Tower Systems (MOTS), replacing the Army’s aging AN/TSW-7A air traffic control (ATC) towers.

Light Air Support

On February 27, 2013, the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano offered by SNC and its partner Embraer Defense & Security, won a bid for a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Light Air Support (LAS) contract. The program will provide light air support, convoy escort, reconnaissance, and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. As such, it is a vital element of building the country’s indigenous security capabilities. The USAF has designated the LAS version of the aircraft as the A-29 Super Tucano.

On September 25, 2014, SNC announced delivery of the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the USAF for use in training Afghan flight and maintenance personnel. The first class of Afghan Super Tucano pilots and maintainers graduated from Georgia’s Moody Air Force Base in December 2015.

On January 15, 2016, the first four Super Tucanos arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport for use by the Afghan Security Forces.

In October 2015, SNC and Embraer confirmed the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft by the Lebanese Republic. The contract also includes a complete training system for Lebanese Air Force pilots and maintainers.

Persistent Wide-Area Airborne Surveillance

Gorgon Stare is a remotely controlled, aircraft-based Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) system. Gorgon Stare includes the USAF’s only operational day/night persistent wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) capability. The system has flown long-duration sorties daily in multiple theaters since March 2011, providing thousands of hours of direct combat support.

From its inception, Gorgon Stare’s open architecture was purpose-designed by SNC to quickly, but manageably insert new technologies, allowing the USAF to deploy new and evolving best-of-breed capabilities into an operationally mature integrated architecture.

In Spring 2014, the U.S. Air Force deployed the latest generation of Gorgon Stare. The fully upgraded system simultaneously provides a four-fold increase in area coverage with a two-fold improvement in resolution compared to its predecessor. The system features two state-of-the-art imaging sensor turrets—an electro-optical (EO) sensor derived from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) ARGUS technology and an infrared (IR) sensor integrating the largest IR arrays available.

Transport Telemedicine System

SNC's Transport Telemedicine System is a new capability that captures and communicates patient care and condition information beginning at the point of injury and continuing until arrival at a medical facility. On September 24, 2014 at the inaugural Nevada Telemedicine Summit, SNC successfully demonstrated the capability for the U.S. Army Medical Material Agency. The Nevada Army National Guard MEDEVAC unit flew the demonstration mission.

Multi-Mission Aircraft

On July 23, 2014, SNC's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) business area located in Centennial, Colorado won a competitive contract to provide and operate two Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) for the State of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC). Based on the Pilatus PC-12, the DFPC aircraft are equipped with electro-optical sensors and communications equipment that allow firefighters to detect small fires before they grow into large incidents that severely affect Colorado’s lives, property, and resources. As a result of the integration of SNC’s technology and modifications, the MMA are providing advanced fire detection, location, and behavior monitoring capabilities. Additionally, the aircraft feature a communications system that allows the aircrew to send collected information to all wildfire response personnel using the Colorado Wildfire Information Management System (CO-WIMS), a web-based collaborative information sharing tool that allows any firefighter immediate access to fire location, behavior, and other critical pieces of information. Colorado has also successfully employed the aircraft in search-and-rescue and environmental assessment missions.

Turkish regional jet project

On May 27, 2015, A Memorandum of Understanding was announced between SNC and the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications to produce the country’s first regional jet as part of its Regional Aircraft Project. The Project utilizes a modernized version of the Dornier 328 (the intellectual property for which is owned by SNC), the TRJ328, as a stepping-stone toward production of the Republic of Turkey’s first domestically designed passenger aircraft, the TRJ628 concept aircraft. The Project opens a new page for the Turkish aviation and aerospace industry, as well as the global aviation market, and the 628 marks the first domestically produced regional jet in Turkish history. Both Aircraft will be built and certified at a new commercial facility in Ankara, owned by TRJet, a subsidiary of SNC.


  • TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri A.Ş.7 (TRJet) (June 2015)
  • Kutta Technologies Inc. (April 2015)
  • Kutta Radios Inc. (April 2015)
  • 328 Support Services GmbH (328 SSG) (February 2015)
  • Sierra Completions (October 2014)
  • ORBITEC (July 2014)
  • HMA Fire LLC (July 2014)
  • 3S Certification LLC (September 2012)
  • 3S Engineering (September 2012)
  • SpaceDev, Inc. (December 2008)
  • MicroSat Systems, Inc. (January 2008)
  • Straight Flight, Inc. (February 2007)
  • WaveBand Corporation (May 2005)
  • Aviation Resources Delaware, Inc. (June 2004)
  • Inter-4 (October 2003)
  • Turtle Mountain Communications, Inc. (June 2003)
  • Plano Microwave, Inc. (October 2001)
  • Spectral Systems, Inc. (February 1999)
  • Advanced Countermeasure Systems (March 1998)
  • References

    Sierra Nevada Corporation Wikipedia