Acting Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters today announced the award of four contracts valued at a total of $3.03 billion to Lockheed Martin Corporation, Denver, Colo., and The Boeing Corporation, Huntington Beach, Calif.
"Today, with the award of EELV contracts, we are entering a new and exciting era, an era where government and industry have pooled their resources in order to serve a combined military and commercial market," Peters said.
Each of the companies is being awarded a $500 million contract for Engineering and Manufacturing Development agreements. The two companies are also being awarded contracts for Initial Launch Services for the Department of Defense's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program, the next generation of space launch vehicles, that total $2.03 billion. Boeing will receive $1.38 billion, and Lockheed Martin will receive $650 million.
During the development phase, fiscal year 1999-2002, the two contractors will complete launch vehicle development, establish manufacturing capabilities, construct and modify launch site infrastructure and activate launch sites as Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the initial launch service phase, the Air Force will acquire commercial launch services for 28 government payloads scheduled to launch between fiscal years 2002 and 2006. Boeing will conduct 19 launches and Lockheed Martin nine launches.
EELV's objective is to improve the affordability and operability of the nation's expendable space launch systems beyond the turn of the century. It will replace the current fleet of medium and heavy launch systems (Delta, Atlas and Titan) with two modular families of launch vehicles. The EELV program is poised to provide more affordable and reliable access to space for America. EELV's operability improvements over current systems will include a standard payload interface, standardized launch pads and off-pad processing. These capabilities provide reduced launch costs and create a more operable and responsive domestic spacelift infrastructure.
- EELV will ensure America's access to space well into the 21st century. The government's investment ensures that validated military spacelift requirements will be met by
- the contractors, while stimulating the commercial launch industry and strengthening our launch infrastructure. Having two domestic sources will reduce risk and provide assured access to space for both government and commercial payloads. EELV enables the U.S. commercial launch service providers to become more competitive worldwide, not only from a cost standpoint, but also from vehicle availability and flexibility. Finally, the U.S. industrial base will be enhanced and two competitive launch vehicle families will be poised to capture increased international market share.
The first commercial launch of the EELV medium-lift vehicle will occur in fiscal year 2001, and the first government operational payloads are slated for launch in fiscal year 2002.
For more information, call Gloria Cales at (703) 693-9086 or Space and Missiles Systems Center Public Affairs Office, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., (310) 363-0255.