Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a two-year, $82.7 million contract to help the U.S. Air Force build and launch a rocket to send a Global Positioning System III satellite into orbit.
The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center received two bids for the firm-fixed-price contract that covers GPS III launch vehicle production, mission integration and operational services, the Defense Department said Wednesday.
The award comes eleven months after the service branch certified the company’s Falcon 9 rocket technology for use in military satellite missions and represents the first of nine launch services contracts that the Pentagon plans to put out for competitive bid.
SpaceX will perform work at company facilities in California and Texas as well as at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Pentagon expects SpaceX to complete work under the contract July 31, 2018.
GPS III satellite technology is designed to help address positioning, navigation and timing requirements of U.S. military and civilian users globally as well as to provide anti-jamming capabilities for warfighters.