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.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




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>