The U.S. Air Force has issued a solicitation for the second phase of the Launch Service Procurement program, which seeks to award fixed-price contracts to two domestic commercial service providers that can launch national security payloads through 2027.
“We must move forward now. We are answering Congress’ 2014 directive to transition off the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine,” Air Force Secretary and a 2019 Wash100 winner Heather Wilson said in a statement published Friday.
The service’s Space and Missile Systems Center teamed up with the National Reconnaissance Office on the solicitation strategy, which also aims to provide assured access to space; promote a long-term competitive environment; enhance program affordability; and mitigate satellite redesign impacts and integration costs, according to a FedBizOpps solicitation posted Friday.
Annual ordering periods for the LSP contracts will run from fiscal year 2020 through FY 2024 and responses to the request for proposals are due Aug. 1.
The solicitation for the Phase 2 LSP contracts came seven months after the Air Force selected Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin to build rocket prototypes under three separate other-transaction agreements.