Skip to comments.ULA sits out Air Force launch competition
Posted on 11/17/2015 11:34:03 AM PST by Rockitz
United Launch Alliance said Monday it did not submit a proposal in a competition to launch a U.S. Air Force GPS navigation satellite, apparently relinquishing the contract to rival SpaceX, the only other company certified to launch the mission.
The Air Force wanted both companies to bid on the launch, setting up the first competition for the launch of a national security mission since Boeing and Lockheed Martin merged their rocket programs in 2006 to form ULA.
ULA cited requirements in the request for proposals, which the Air Force released Sept. 30, and a congressionally mandated ban on RD-180 engines for the Atlas 5 rocket as the reasons the company decided not to bid for the launch.
Bids were due Monday, and ULAâs decision to sit out the competition leaves SpaceX all but certain to win the contract for launch of an unspecified GPS 3 navigation satellite in 2018.
âULA wants nothing more than to compete, but unfortunately we were unable to submit a compliant bid for GPS 3-X launch services,â ULA spokesperson Jessica Rye said in a statement released to Spaceflight Now late Monday.
The statement said ULA is unable to certify that funds from other government contracts will not benefit the GPS 3 launch, a requirement spelled out in the Air Forceâs request for proposals.
âULA does not have the accounting system in place to make that certification, and therefore cannot submit a compliant proposal,â the statement said.
(Excerpt) Read more at spaceflightnow.com ...
What's that about?
The RD-180 used on Atlas V is manufactured by the Russians.
Russian engines. Not only can the US not send men to the space station on its own, it apparently can't build rocket engines any more, so they have to buy from the Russians.
Congress banned the Russian rockets since Putin opposed Soros' takeover of Ukraine.
Let me guess why we "need" a Russian rocket engine: American environmentalists.
They probably won’t be able to award anything with only one bidder.
Air Force procurement is a disaster. I have one contract with the AF. Original bids were submitted in 2009 and it was awarded June 2015. No actual work from it yet.
ULA was sole source on DoD launches for years so that’s what the Air Force is used to. It’s certainly not what they expected since certifying Falcon 9 earlier this year.
That is very interesting. Why? As long as they are not using money from other contracts to execute the contract, why should there be a requirement that funds from other government contracts not to benefit the GPS 3 launch?
Probably so they could steer the contract to the politically connected SpaceX.
I was in MIL-STD-883 hybrid manufacturing, for both high-power and microwave modules. Those companies made MUCH more money on paperwork than we did on products so poorly conceived from a mechanical perspective I'm amazed that anything flies, including the missiles for which they were built. As far as I am concerned, military electronics procurement is a total disaster that benefits only the paper-pushers.
Therein lies the rub- government procurement.
Hardware designed by lawyers.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.