Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance have wonÂ separate “other transaction” agreements worth a combined $161.9 million to buildÂ rocket engine prototypesÂ under the U.S. Air Force‘sÂ Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle initiative.
The Air Force said Monday the $115.3 million OTA with Aerojet Rocketdyne centers on theÂ development of the company’s liquid oxygen/kerosene-basedÂ propulsion systemÂ AR1.
Aerojet Rocketdyne originally designed its AR1 technology to operate onÂ ULA’sÂ Atlas V and Vulcan launch vehicles and said the total agreementÂ value could reach $804 million over the course of the public-privateÂ partnership.
TheÂ $46.6 million OTA with ULA covers work on theÂ BE-4 engine, which the BoeingÂ (NYSE: BA) andÂ Lockheed MartinÂ (NYSE: LMT) joint venture is developing with Blue Origin, and an upper-stage motor known asÂ Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage.
“Having two or more domestic, commercially viable launch providers that also meet national security space requirements continues to be our end goal, ” notedÂ Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, program executive officer for space at the Air Force and commander of theÂ Space and Missile Systems Center.
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) andÂ SpaceXÂ were awarded OTAs worthÂ $180.2 million andÂ $61.4 million, respectively, in January to also help the military service build domestic substitutes for the Russian RD-180 rocket engine.
SpaceX will further develop itsÂ Raptor engine whileÂ Orbital ATK will continue work on the firm’sÂ GEM 63XL and Common Booster Segment solid-rocket motorsÂ as part of the RD-180 replacement effort.