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Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is an American privately held electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, telemedicine, and commercial orbital transportation services. The Sierra Nevada Corporation is run by Chief Executive Officer, Fatih Ozmen and President, Eren Ozmen. The company contracts with the United States Armed Forces, NASA and private spaceflight companies. It is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada.[1]

Sierra Nevada Corporation
HeadquartersSparks, Nevada
Navigation and Guidance
Information Management
Electronic Protection
OwnersFatih Ozmen, CEO; Eren Ozmen, President
Number of employees

SNC supports business areas, subsidiaries and affiliates with nearly 3,000 personnel at 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey.[1]


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.[2] 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.[1]

SNC's Space Systems (previously SpaceDev)Edit

On December 16, 2008 SNC announced it had completed its acquisition of SpaceDev.[3] SNC is now developing an orbital spacecraft called the Dream Chaser.[4]

Dream Chaser crewed spacecraftEdit

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser

On February 1, 2010, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded[5] $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.[6]

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.[7] The Dream Chaser is a revival of NASA's HL-20 Personnel Launch System lifting-body design.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

On September 16, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation lost the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (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.[12] NASA deemed SNC's proposal as less mature than the others.[13] 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."[14]

Two weeks after losing the CCtCap competition to SpaceX and Boeing on September 16, 2014,[12] 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.[15] Earlier the same week, Sierra Nevada introduced the Dream Chaser Global Project, which would provide customized access to low Earth orbit to global customers.[16]

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.[17] 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."[18]

Despite not being selected to continue forward under NASA's CCtCap phase of the effort to send crews to orbit via private companies, SNC is still completing milestones under earlier phases of the CCP.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] SNC will use United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket as the launch vehicle for Dream Chaser's cargo configuration starting from 2021.[22]


SNC was the prime contractor on RocketMotorTwo for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, and designed the rocket engine for Scaled Composites, including the one used for SpaceshipOne.[23] On April 29, 2013 SpaceShipTwo completed its first powered flight test using RocketMotorTwo.[24]

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.[25]


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.[26]

Key Capabilities, Products & ContractsEdit

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.[27]

Light Air SupportEdit

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.[28] 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.[29]

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 SurveillanceEdit

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.[30]

Transport Telemedicine SystemEdit

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.[31]

Multi-Mission AircraftEdit

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).[32] 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 projectEdit

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.[33][34]


  • TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri A.Ş.7 (TRJet) (June 2015) [35]
  • Kutta Technologies Inc. (April 2015) [36]
  • Kutta Radios Inc. (April 2015) [36]
  • 328 Support Services GmbH (328 SSG) (February 2015) [37]
  • Sierra Completions (October 2014)[38]
  • ORBITEC (July 2014)[39]
  • HMA Fire LLC (July 2014)[40]
  • 3S Certification LLC (September 2012)[41]
  • 3S Engineering (September 2012)[42]
  • SpaceDev, Inc. (December 2008)[43]
  • MicroSat Systems, Inc. (January 2008)[44]
  • Straight Flight, Inc. (February 2007)[45]
  • WaveBand Corporation (May 2005)[46]
  • Aviation Resources Delaware, Inc. (June 2004)[47]
  • Inter-4 (October 2003)[47]
  • Turtle Mountain Communications, Inc. (June 2003)[48]
  • Plano Microwave, Inc. (October 2001)[49]
  • Spectral Systems, Inc. (February 1999)[1]
  • Advanced Countermeasure Systems (March 1998)[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Sierra Nevada Corporation".
  2. ^ "Fatih Ozmen, Sierra Nevada Corporation". SNC.
  3. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Acquires Space Dev Inc". SNC. December 16, 2008.
  4. ^ Mark Sirangelo (2009-10-27). International Astronautical Congress 2009: Civilian Access to Space (video). Daejeon, Korea: Flightglobal Hyperbola, Rob Coppinger., video comments at 11:30 ff.
  5. ^ "SNC receives largest award of NASA's CCDev Competitive Contract". SNC. February 1, 2010.
  6. ^ Commercial Certification Process and Accomplishments (PDF), NASA, November 15, 2012, retrieved August 11, 2013
  7. ^ "NASA - NASA Announces Next Steps In Effort To Launch Americans From U.S. Soil". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Sierra Nevada Builds Up To Lifting-Body Drop Tests". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  9. ^ Tuskegee University Joins Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser Team, by PRWeb, posted Tuesday Jul 24, 2014
  10. ^ Colorado's Sierra Nevada Corporation is one step closer to 2016 launch of Dream Chaser spacecraft, by ABC 7 News Denver, posted Friday Aug 1, 2014
  11. ^ Sierra Nevada Keeps Expanding Dream Chaser Team, by Parabolic Arc, Doug Messier, posted Wednesday Aug 6, 2014
  12. ^ a b "NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station". NASA. September 16, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  13. ^ Norris, Guy. "Why NASA Rejected Sierra Nevada's Commercial Crew Vehicle" Aviation Week & Space Technology, 11 October 2014. Accessed: 13 October 2014. Archived on 13 October 2014
  14. ^ "Source Selection Statement for Commercial Crew Transportation Capability Contract (CCtCap" (PDF). NASA. September 15, 2014. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Sierra Nevada and Stratolaunch Team Up on Dream Chaser Space Plane". NBC News. October 1, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Introduces Dream Chaser Global Project Spaceflight Program Sept. 30". SpaceRef. September 29, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  17. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation to Present Progress on Evaluating Dream Chaser Landing at Public Use Airports". SNC. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  18. ^ "Challenges and Opportunities Related to Landing the Dream Chaser® Commercial Reusable Space Vehicle at a Public-Use Airport". ERAU Scholarly Commons. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sierra Nevada completes Dream Chaser's milestone 15a for prior phase of Commercial Crew". Spaceflight Insider. December 3, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  20. ^ "SNC Tests Dream Chaser Propulsion System". NASA Blog December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "NASA Awards International Space Station Cargo Transport Contracts". NASA. January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "SNC Selects ULA for Dream Chaser Spacecraft Launches". Sierra Nevada Corporation (Press release). SpaceRef. August 14, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  23. ^, "Virgin Galactic Pushes Private Spaceship Envelope in Test Flights", Leonard David, 10 June 2011
  24. ^ "SS2 Breaks Sound Barrier On First Powered Flight". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  25. ^ Foust, Jeff (2014-11-26). "Sierra Nevada To Close California Propulsion Facility". Space News. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  26. ^ "US DoD awards STPSat-5 satellite production contract to Sierra Nevada". October 16, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.[unreliable source?]
  27. ^ Sierra Nevada Corporation Awarded Contract for U.S. Army Mobile Tower System, by, posted Dec 31, 2014
  28. ^ "Super Tucano Wins Afghanistan Light Air Support Bid". Defense News. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  29. ^ SNC, Embraer Deliver First A-29 to US Air Force[permanent dead link], by Aaron Mehta, posted Thursday Sept 25, 2014 14:32:00 EST
  30. ^ Air Force stands by Gorgon Stare program, by Ben Iannotta - C4ISR Journal Writer, posted Tuesday Jan 25, 2011 14:15:59 EST
  31. ^ Sierra Nevada Corporation Successfully Demonstrates Transport Telemedicine System at Inaugural Nevada Telemedicine Conference[permanent dead link], by SNC, posted Wednesday Oct 29, 2014—
  32. ^ Sierra Nevada to build two multi-mission aircraft for Colorado, by, posted July 25, 2014[unreliable source?]
  33. ^ "Turkish Regional Jets Launched - TRJ-328 & 628". Airliners. 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  34. ^ "İşte yerli yolcu uçağının teknik özellikleri". Sabah (in Turkish). 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  35. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Forms New Turkish Subsidiary, TRJet, to produce Country's First Regional Jet". PRWeb. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  36. ^ a b "Sierra Nevada Corporation Acquires Kutta Technologies Inc. to Expand its Unmanned Technologies". PRWeb. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  37. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Expands into Global Aircraft Markets through Investments in UK and Germany - SNC Acquires 328 Support Services GmbH". Sierra Nevada Corporation. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  38. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Debut of Aircraft Completions Subsidiary, Sierra Completions". PRWeb. 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  39. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation To Acquire Orbital Technologies". Forbes. 2014-06-21. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  40. ^ "Equity sought in Spin-Off Venture, HMA Fire, to Expand New Fire Suppression Products" (PDF). Orbitec. 2011-03-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2015-07-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  41. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Acquires 3S Engineering". Reuters. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  42. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Acquires 3S Engineering". Reuters. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  43. ^ "Sierra Nevada Corporation Signs Agreement to Acquire Space Technology Company SpaceDev, Inc. - NCET: Business. Technology. Events". NCET. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  44. ^ "MicroSat To Become Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of SNC - Via Satellite". 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  45. ^ "Straight Flight, Inc. | Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Modifications". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  46. ^ "An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  47. ^ a b "SNC Acquisitions". SNC. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  48. ^ "Acquisition (June 2003)". PrivCo. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  49. ^ "9th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards Takes Flight". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2015-06-18.

External linksEdit