United Launch Receives Five-Year Contract for the Launch of Five Delta Four Heavy Rockets

United Launch Receives Five-Year Contract for the Launch of Five Delta Four Heavy Rockets

The contracts awarded for the production and launch of the five missions are worth USD 2.2 billion. The U.S. Air Force purchased Delta IV Heavy Rockets for NROL - 44 and NROL - 82 in the fiscal year 2017 under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Phase 1 Block Buy contract with ULA, which ended on September 30, 2019.

FREMONT, CA: Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), along with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), awarded a sole source five-year contract worth USD 1.18 billion to United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the launch of five Delta IV Heavy rockets.

The contract, modified to the previous Delta IV Heavy contract, was awarded for Launch Operations Support (LOPS), in support of the existing five NRO Launch (NROL) missions: NROL - 44, NROL - 82, NROL - 91, NROL - 68, and NROL - 70. The Delta IV Heavy rocket contract was divided into two, Launch Vehicle Product Services (LVPS) and LOPS, to meet the set launch dates. This has also helped the SMC and NRO to save near USD 455 million.

“The Space and Missile Systems Center, with our NRO teammates, delivers outstanding space capabilities for the nation. We have full confidence that ULA’s Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles will continue their impressive history of mission success to launch key assets necessary for national security,” said Brig. Gen. Donna Shipton, Air Force program executive officer for Space Enterprise. All put together, the contracts awarded for the production and launch of the five missions are worth USD 2.2 billion.

The U.S. Air Force purchased Delta IV Heavy Rockets for NROL - 44 and NROL - 82 in the fiscal year 2017 under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Phase 1 Block Buy contract with ULA, which ended on September 30, 2019. With both missions running behind schedule and final dates being pushed to 2020, the Air Force was forced to give out a separate LOPS contract.

“Mission success is our top priority. These satellites are critical to our Intelligence Community and national security. Finalizing the launch operations support for these Delta IV Heavy launch services is a fundamental step to deliver these critical national assets to their intended orbits,” said Col. Robert Bongiovi, Director of Launch Enterprise.

"These are the last remnants of our sole-source contracts. We look forward to embracing the competitive landscape that we have worked hard with industry to create. The competitive launch services market is strong, and we look forward to the Phase 2 acquisition that leverages this market and builds upon our legacy of mission success," he added.

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