Northrop Grumman Awarded $792 Million Launch Services Agreement from US Air Force
13 October, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Chad Warren
Northrop will perform work in Arizona, Utah, Mississippi, Florida, Ohio and Louisiana through December 31, 2024, while Blue Origin will carry out prototype development in Washington and Alabama through July 31, 2024. "ORCRP009161-topic.html" class="local_link" >Lockheed Martin, received a $967 million award for its Vulcan Centaur and Northrop Grumman was awarded $791.6 million for OmegA. For almost a decade, ULA had a monopoly on Pentagon launches until it was challenged by SpaceX, which eventually was granted certification and has been competing against ULA. The Atlas uses RD-180 engines made in Russian Federation. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.) The award is the first major government contract for the company, which has for years relied nearly exclusively on Bezos's fortune.
Blue Origin is now developing the rocket reusable New Glenn, for the years 2020, and for which it has opened a plant last year. "These innovative public-private partnerships with industry provide a path to develop launch vehicles to assure access to space, address the urgent need to transition away from strategic foreign reliance and provide responsive launch capabilities to the warfighter". The company's Omega rocket is proposed as a vehicle to launch national security satellites for the United States Air Force and could launch other government and commercial payloads, including to Geostationary transfer orbit. The New Glenn is a reusable orbital vehicle created to land back on Earth after launch.
"Thanks to the US Air Force for your confidence in the team Blue Origin and our rocket NewGlenn", tweeted Jeff Bezos.
"Blue Origin is proud to serve the NSS community and is committed to providing safe, reliable access to space for the nation". ULA announced in September that its Vulcan rocket will be powered by Blue's BE-4 liquid rocket engines.
The US Air Force yesterday said that it had awarded a total US$2.3 billion (RM9.55 billion) in contracts to develop rocket launch systems for national security missions.
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