Lockheed Martin has been competitively selected for the U.S. Air Force’s Hosted Payload Solutions initiative, which is aimed at integrating some government payloads – electronics and sensors packages designed for specific missions – on commercial satellites.
Hosted payloads share satellite launch, propulsion, power and other services, as well as some of their costs.
With this selection in HoPS first phase, Lockheed Martin is now eligible to competitively bid on future payload hosting opportunities covered under a $495 million Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract. Bidding contractors will be expected to match government-provided payloads with appropriate commercial satellites and to integrate these to meet critical launch timelines.
“In these challenging budgetary times, HoPS is an innovative, cost-effective approach that will allow the Air Force to leverage commercial spacecraft to host some of its future space missions,” Mark Valerio, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Military Space line of business, said. “We plan to bring our experience in both payload integration and commercial satellites to bear on HoPS, supporting the Air Force’s goal of reaching the nexus of capability, affordability, and resilience for its future space architecture.”
Lockheed Martin comes to HoPS with a long history of developing and integrating hosted payloads onto spacecraft. Since 2000, the company has delivered 84 payloads on 16 different types of satellites from multiple manufacturers. Three of these were government payloads placed onto commercial hosts, where integration challenges including both the business and technical aspects of the satellite’s mission had to be resolved.
“Lockheed Martin also has built and launched more than 100 commercial satellites. We know the commercial industry and have strong ties there,” Valerio added. “Combined with our experience in mission engineering and system solutions, we are confident we can bring forward affordable hosted payload opportunities at the right time and the right place for mission needs.”
The HoPS acquisition is managed by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Advanced Systems and Development Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.