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Release No: 686-96
December 20, 1996


Secretary of the Air Force, Sheila E. Widnall, announced the award of two $60 million Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development contracts for the Department of Defense's next generation of space launch vehicles at a Pentagon press conference today.

The contractors receiving awards to begin the Pre-EMD phase of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program are: Lockheed Martin Corporation, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Littleton Colo.; and McDonnell Douglas Corporation, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Huntington Beach, Calif.

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 a single, modular family of launch vehicles.

EELV is expected to reduce the nation's space launch costs at least 25 percent over existing systems while improving DOD's ability to meet warfighter operability requirements, according to Col. Richard McKinney, EELV System Program Director.

The Air Force expects significant cost savings by standardizing to one family of medium and heavy lift launch vehicles, improving ground operations, using existing and evolved system components, and streamlining acquisition and manufacturing processes.

EELV will also significantly enhance the nation's ability to compete in the future international commercial launch market, McKinney said.

During the next 17-months Lockheed Martin Corporation and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace will continue to mature system designs, refine cost estimates, and verify producibility, manufacturing, and affordability improvements. At the conclusion of Pre-EMD, the Air Force selects a single contractor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase with an estimate contract value of $1.6 billion.

During EMD, the contractor will complete system development and demonstration. The first test 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. EELV is expected to save the Government between $5 and $10 billion from space launch between 2002 and 2020.

This award culminates a 15-month Low Cost Concept Validation (LCCV) module, which included requirements analyses, cost-benefit trades, preliminary design, and intensive acquisition reform and streamlining efforts.

Four contractors participated in the LCCV module: Allitant Techsystems Inc., Magna, Utah; the Boeing Company Defense & Space Group, Seattle, Wash.; McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Littleton, Color.

For more EELV information, call Space and Missiles Systems Center Public Affairs Office, Los Angeles AFB, Calif., (310) 363- 6428.

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