Space

The Space Force has awarded contracts to ULA and SpaceX for four country-wide security missions

Summary

The U.S. Space Force awarded United Launch Alliance and SpaceX contracts for four National Security Space Launch Phase 2 missions scheduled for 2023, the Pentagon announced March 9. ULA received $224. 2 million for two missions named USSF-112 and USSF-87. […]

The U.S. Space Force awarded United Launch Alliance and SpaceX contracts for four National Security Space Launch Phase 2 missions scheduled for 2023, the Pentagon announced March 9. ULA received $224. 2 million for two missions named USSF-112 and USSF-87.  SpaceX got $159.7 million for USSF-36 and NROL-69. The SpaceX contract for the NROL-69 National Reconnaissance Office mission only includes basic launch services. The NRO will fund its mission integration separately.

ULA and SpaceX were selected in August as the two launch providers for Phase 2 of the National Security Space Launch program.

The Department of the Air Force announced Aug. 7 that incumbents United Launch Alliance and SpaceX have been selected to launch national security satellites for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies for five years starting in 2022.

The companies beat Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman in the four-way competition known as the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.

United Launch Alliance on Aug. 7 received a $337 million contract for two Phase 2 missions and SpaceX received a $316 million contract for one Phase 2 mission planned for fiscal 2022, according to the Pentagon’s announcement. The U.S. government’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Between 2022 and 2027 SpaceX and ULA will collectively will fly as many as 34 missions for the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office under the firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contracts.

ULA won 60% and SpaceX 40% of the estimated 30 to 35 launches projected between 2022 and 2027. The contracts are fixed-price and funded on a yearly basis based on demand. NSSL launches include Defense Department and NRO missions. The Space Force in August awarded the first three missions of Phase 2 scheduled to launch in 2022.

ULA got $337 million to launch two missions and SpaceX received $316 million contract for one mission. SpaceX explained the large price tag included expenses for infrastructure and other hardware development required for national security launches. 

“We are very pleased with the flexibility offered by our Phase 2 providers to make the best launch choices and adjustments as we proceed,” said Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise. USSF-36 has a scheduled launch date in the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, NROL-69 in the fourth quarter, USSF-112 in the third quarter and USSF-87 in the fourth quarter.