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Report: DOD’s Next Space Launch Contracting Round to Require Defenses Against Foreign Interference

The Department of Defense plans to add requirements to National Security Space Launch program contracts in a move to address Chinese and Russian interference, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

In a briefing to potential vendors of the upcoming contracting round, DOD said the next generation of rockets designed for launching spy satellites should be capable of countering foreign interference.

Pentagon officials have deemed China and Russia’s growing space capabilities as a major concern as rockets and satellites are easily tracked in orbit due to their conspicuousness and thunderous launches.

WSJ cited unnamed sources that expect at least three companies will participate in the department’s next competitive solicitation for NSSL services.

SpaceX, the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-Boeing (NYSE: BA) joint venture United Launch Alliance and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) are considered key players in the rocket market.

A Congressional Research Service report says the department requested a $1.2 billion NSSL budget for fiscal 2023.

Hear federal government and industry leaders share their perspectives on how the U.S. can outpace global space competitors at the GovCon Wire 2023 Space Acquisition Forum on Jan. 18. Register here.

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