SpaceX, ULA bag $739mn Contracts From Air Force
SpaceX and United Launch Alliance will be soon seen coming to the terms with sharing the pie. According to the latest reports, launch contracts worth $739 million is going to be divided between the two agencies by authorities at U.S. Air Force. This division is being meted out for six missions related to national security and they have roughly been slated for the time span of 2012-2022.
These contracts have been awarded under a program with the acronym EELV, or in other words, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The announcement was made on Tuesday evening by the Center for Missile Systems, in collaboration with Air Force Space.
While an amount of $441.76 million will go to ULA, SpaceX is entitled to a share of $297 million. The money received by ULA will be utilized in the launch of SBIRS GEO-6, SBIRS GEO-5 and Silent Barker, under the norms of a contract that will be strictly fixed in price. Silent Barker is slated to be a classified awareness mission in the context of space situations. On the other hand, SpaceX’s funds will be used in the launch of NROL-85, AFSPC-44, and NROL-87.
NROL-85, Silent Barker and NROL-87 have been graded as classified missions under the jurisdiction of the Office of National Reconnaissance. The remaining missions, be it the SBIRS GEO-5 or the AFSPC-44, have been classified as satellite for use by the Air Force.
This marks the commencement of the 6th competition coming under the ongoing Phase 1A procurement of EELV. The final requests regarding proposals pertaining to these launches were released on January 31, 2018. Further, the due date for the proposals was April 16, 2018. According to Lt. Gen. John Thompson, the competitive rewards for the contracts of the EELV launch services will directly support the mission of SMC to deliver affordable as well as durable space capabilities in the service of the nation, while ensuring maintenance of guaranteed space access. Thompson is currently the commander and the executive officer for the space program at SMC.