Defense

December 10, 2012

Space launch vehicle core purchases balance needs with lower cost, competition

Purchasing core elements used to launch 28 rockets into space for National Security Space missions is the focus of negotiations between the Air Force and United Launch Alliance to establish a requirements contract, according to Defense Under Secretary Frank Kendall.

The plan is to procure 36 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle cores over a five-year period, beginning in Fiscal Year 2013, according to a memo from Kendall to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. Kendall is the under secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

According to Donley, the purpose of the space launch acquisition is to balance operational needs with lowering launch costs and foster competition.

“Our fundamental priorities are to be good stewards of the American taxpayer and control cost growth through further competition,” said Donley. “We will continue to work with potential new entrants as they progress toward certification, all the while maintaining mission assurance.” Donley added that the Air Force will achieve these goals through launching national security satellites like GPS and other critical military missions.

A core is defined as the basic cylindrical unit of the rocket used to launch a payload into space. Some payloads require three cores combined together in a “heavy lift” configuration to reach the prescribed orbit. The 36 launch vehicle cores represent a total of 28 launches, including 24 single core launches and four requiring the “heavy lift” configuration.

This space launch acquisition approach is based on the United Launch Alliance response to the Air Force’s March 2012 request for proposal, a new entrant independent assessment, and an assessment of space vehicle deliveries.

“We made an informed decision based on criteria to the Congress about a year ago,” said Scott Correll, Air Force Program Executive for Space Launch. “This acquisition decision provides the best balance between operational requirements, budget and enabling a competitive environment. It also allows us to reduce costs while maintaining our focus on the warfighter and delivering 100 percent mission success.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 

 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 
 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>