Air Force Faces Bigger Bill for Atlas, Delta Rockets

ULA's Atlas V

U.S. Air Force To Request $1.8 Billion for EELV Program as Costs Skyrocket
Space News

Projected budgets for the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program will rise by more than 50 percent over the next few years as the cost of materials has increased sharply and the service buys more rockets to provide stability for the industrial base, according to government and industry sources.

The Air Force plans to request $1.78 billion for its primary launch vehicle program in 2012, some $450 million more than it previously planned to request for 2012, a government source said. The service’s five-year budget plan for EELV totaled $6.3 billion in its 2011 spending blueprint, and that figure will rise to $10 billion in the request it sends to Congress in February, the source said….

“ULA is seeing quoted prices with significant increases from their suppliers,” Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center spokeswoman Peggy Hodge said in a Jan. 13 e-mail. “Suppliers’ business base has been reduced making ULA the major customer.”

In addition, the Air Force until recently had been benefiting from rocket prices negotiated with ULA in 1998 that were based on different market conditions, Hodge said.

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