U.S. Air Force May Earn Tender for Launch of 28 Rockets in Future
Published By : 02 Mar 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
The U.S. Air Force may be able to grab a multibillion dollar deal for the launch of 28 government satellites to be held in this spring. The deal is expected to help end U.S.’s reliance upon rocket engines built in Russia, according to a recent Air Force document.
The Space and Missile Systems Center of the U.S. Air Force charted out the possible deal, which would comprise investments from the government and the private sector.
A law was passed last year by Congress that requires the U.S. Air Force to end its reliance on the Russian built rocket engines by the end of 2019. The RD-180 engine that the law spoke of is used to power the Atlas 5 rockets. Atlas 5 rockets are used for launching many important intelligence and military satellites. The law was passed considering the constantly increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Russia’s takeover of the Ukrainian Crimea region.
The U.S. Air Force has said that it may give out contracts regarding the projected tender between the first quarters of the fiscal years 2016 and 2018. The first rockets using the engines manufactured by the U.S. army would be out for launch no later than the year 2022, which would mean a deadline missed by nearly three years.
It is being said that the contracts would include near to 28 launches of intelligence and military satellites from the fiscal years between 2020 and 2024, states the document.
The matter is being closely observed by the United Launch Alliance, a joint business enterprise of Boeing Co.’s Lockheed Martin Corp, which currently launches all the big U.S. intelligence and military satellites, and the private company SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corp., a company that is hoping to earn certifications for doing at least some of the launches by the mid of this year.