The U.S. Air Force has awarded Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) a $180.2 million ‘other transaction’ agreementÂ and Space Exploration Technologies a $61.4 million OTAÂ to build alternativeÂ propulsion systems forÂ Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.
The Defense Department said WednesdayÂ the Space and Missile Systems Center received multiple proposals for the development of a U.S. substitute for the Russian RD-180 engine during a bid solicitation.
DoD noted Orbital ATK will work on the GEM 63XL and Common Booster Segment solid-rocket motors and an extendable nozzle for the BE-3U engine built by Blue Origin.
SpaceX will further develop its Raptor engine for integration into the company’s Falcon 9 heavy-lift launch vehicle, which the Air Force certified in May 2015 for potential inclusion in future military satellite launches.
The Air Force has obligated almost $47 million in fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds to Orbital ATK at the time of award.
The company is scheduled to complete work by Dec. 30, 2019.
FY 2015 funds in the amount of $33.7 million have been obligated for SpaceX’s contract that will run through Dec. 31, 2018.