Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Uses OTA to Harness Commercial Space Launch Development

October 10, 2018

The Air Force has selected three commercial launch companies to develop a space launch system prototype as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, DOD reported. The awards are part of a portfolio of three other-transaction agreements (OTAs) to leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers that meet National Security Space requirements, including the launch of the heaviest and most complex payloads. The agreements require shared cost investments from the companies. For each award, the Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. The awards were the result of a full and open competition.

Under one contract, United Launch Services of Centennial, Colorado has been awarded a $967,000,000 OTA for the development of a launch system prototype. The OTA requires shared cost investment for the development of the Vulcan Centaur launch system. Work with United Launch Services will be performed in Centennial and Decatur, Alabama, with launch facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Work under this OTA is expected to be completed by March 31, 2025. The agreement will be incrementally funded with fiscal year 2018 through 2024 research, development, test and evaluation funds totaling a maximum of $967,000,000. Fiscal year 2018 funds in the amount of $109,000,000 are being obligated to United Launch Services at the time of award. (FA8811-19-9-0003).

In the second contract, Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Arizona, was awarded a $791,601,015 OTA, to develop a prototype. This agreement requires shared cost investment for the development of the OmegA launch system. Work will be performed in Chandler; Magna and Promontory, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; West Palm Beach, Florida; Sandusky, Ohio; and Michoud, Louisiana, with launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, Florida; and Vandenberg Air Force Base. The work is expected to be completed by December 31, 2024. The agreement will be incrementally funded with fiscal year 2018 through 2024 research, development, test and evaluation funds totaling a maximum of $791,601,015. Fiscal year 2018 funds in the amount of $109,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. (FA8811-19-9-0002).  

Under the third contract, Blue Origin LLC, Kent, Washington, has been awarded a $500,000,000 OTA for the prototype development. The agreement requires shared cost investment for the development of the New Glenn launch system. Work will be performed in Kent, Washington; Huntsville, Alabama; and Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, with launch facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base. The work is expected to be completed by July 31, 2024. The agreement will be incrementally funded with fiscal year 2018 through 2024 research, development, test and evaluation funds totaling a maximum of $500,000,000. Fiscal year 2018 funds in the amount of $109,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award (FA8811-19-9-0001).

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