HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force awards three Launch Service Agreements

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Force announced today the award of three Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service Agreements to (in alphabetical order) Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and United Launch Alliance. The award to Blue Origin will be for development of the New Glenn Launch System. The award to Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is for development of the OmegA Launch System. The award to United Launch Alliance will be for development of the Vulcan Centaur Launch System.

The Launch Service Agreements will facilitate the development of three domestic launch system prototypes and enable the future competitive selection of two National Security Space launch service providers for future procurements, planned for no earlier than fiscal year 2020.

Through public-private partnership agreements, the goal of the acquisition strategy is to satisfy federal law by ensuring that the U.S. maintains assured access to space, with at least two domestic launch service providers and without reliance on non-allied rocket propulsion systems.

"Our launch program is a great example of how we are fielding tomorrow's Air Force faster and smarter," said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “We're making the most of the authorities Congress gave us and we will no longer be reliant on the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine."

With the Congressional mandate to transition away from reliance on foreign rocket propulsion systems, and the planned Delta IV retirement, the Air Force developed an acquisition strategy to accelerate National Security Space launch requirements.

"Leveraging domestic commercial space launch systems is good for the Air Force, and a revitalized commercial launch industry is good for the taxpayer," Wilson added.

The EELV program has successfully launched 72 NSS missions, dating back to 2003, using the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.

“Since the early days of the space program, the Air Force has been a world leader in space launch,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "As space becomes more contested and our adversaries develop new capabilities to thwart our advantage, we are fielding our space capabilities to ensure we remain the best in the business."

While the prototypes are being developed, the Air Force will continue to competitively award commercial launch services contracts to providers who demonstrate the capability to design, produce, qualify and deliver launch systems and provide the mission assurance support required to deliver National Security Space satellites to orbit.

“I’m excited to announce these creative partnerships that directly support the Air Force’s strategy to drive innovation and leverage commercial industry. These awards are a leap forward in space launch capabilities, ensuring continued U.S. dominance in space,” said Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

The Air Force competitively awarded the Launch Service Agreements as other transaction (OT) agreements in accordance with the Air Force’s other transaction authority (OTA) for prototype projects. OT agreements are nontraditional acquisition arrangements that allow for shared investment to encourage innovation and promote the maturation of capabilities. The use of OTA is consistent with guidance in the National Space Transportation Policy to “cultivate increased technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. commercial space transportation sector through the use of incentives such as nontraditional acquisition arrangements, competition and prizes.”

The awards will be contracted through Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. SMC is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, Military Satellite Communications, Defense Meteorological Satellites, Space Launch and Range Systems, Satellite Control Networks, Space Based Infrared Systems and Space Situational Awareness capabilities.

“These awards are central to the Air Force goal of two domestic, commercially viable launch providers that meet National Security Space requirements,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, the Air Force’s Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander. “These innovative public-private partnerships with industry provide a path to develop launch vehicles to assure access to space, address the urgent need to transition away from strategic foreign reliance, and provide responsive launch capabilities to the warfighter.”

Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil.

Engage

Twitter
RT @airforcerso: Every operation and campaign is only as strong as its supply chain. Tune into #AMO2020 today to watch teams compete in a w…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @MilFamiliesMag for talking with Sharene and me today. The wellbeing of our families is essential to the suc…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: While many people are sleeping, Maintainers are still hard at work... Our teammates Ellsworth AFB, shared a picture of…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: It’s the Airmen who aren’t in this photo that I want to talk about. They are out there right now turning wrenches, gene…
Twitter
RT @airforcerso: 13 teams are competing to help the @USAirForce with better performing, more cost-effective & reliable technology that prod…
Twitter
Keeping combat agile 💪 @USAF_ACC is testing agile combat employment & a new lead wing deployment concept intended… https://t.co/0F3nAwIZnx
Twitter
Strengthening international partnerships. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/m5YeqA8i5G
Twitter
Modernizing our fighting force! #AimHigh #InnovativeAF https://t.co/pEQUJdqYFE
Twitter
#DYK The 563rd Rescue Group directs flying operations for the #USAF's only active duty rescue wing dedicated to Com… https://t.co/QYDiSZ50qe
Twitter
Another day at the office. Can't comPLANE. 😉 ⚡ #LoveThisJob #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/7Vjemy7gP7
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Blinded by the light 😎🔆 @TeamFairchild is taking #innovation to another level by setting the standard for Project Tesse…
Twitter
Defense data for academia! 🎓 “Digital engineering isn't a fluke … It is our future.” - Dr. Will Roper, assistant… https://t.co/NQsFQpmu2N
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Dr. Anderson participated in Global Thunder, US-Stratcom’s annual NC2 exercise while traveling to Minot. This exercise i…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Laid a wreath at the American Cemetery in Münsingen, Switzerland, which hosts the gravesites of 61 U.S. Army Air Forces…
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: ASKED/ANSWERED. Friday, a @usairforce U-2 spy plane updated code during flight--a military first! Update #2 improved automat…
Twitter
Who doesn't love a little bit of range time? Maintaining our culture of readiness with the @USArmy and our… https://t.co/J54FE1TPXp
Twitter
We train like we fight! ⚔️ Airmen from the 179th Security Forces Squadron practice fire & maneuver ops at the… https://t.co/b40GK1VRtV
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: What an honor & privilege to host a virtual discussion with two #TuskegeeAirmen & @usairforce cadets today. I’m grateful…
Twitter
Looking right into Lightning ⚡ An F-35 Lightning II approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over @CENTCOM. The F-35 Light… https://t.co/Kwa3JoSx19
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Had a great opportunity today to speak with @usairforce leaders in ISR, Cyber and IW at their Virtual Summit. These #Airm
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,295,784
Follow Us