LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USAF PR) — The Air Force announced today the award of the third competitively sourced National Security Space (NSS) launch service after more than a decade of sole-sourced contracts. United Launch Alliance was awarded a contract for Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) Launch Service. This is a firm-fixed price, standalone contract with a value of $191,141,581.
United Launch Alliance will provide the Government with a total launch solution for the STP-3 payload, which includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations and spaceflight certification. The mission is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida in June 2019.
“The competitive award of the STP-3 Launch Services contract to United Launch Alliance directly supports SMC’s mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our Nation,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for Space and SMC commander.
The STP-3 mission consists of a primary space vehicle (STPSat-6) and a propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) holding up to 6 payloads that will be identified no later than 12-months prior to launch.
The STPSat-6 space vehicle will host the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 (SABRS-3) payload, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) payload. Additionally, Science and Technology (S&T) payloads are manifested by the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program (STP).
This is the third competitive launch service contract under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy. The Phase 1A procurement strategy reintroduces competition for National Security Space launch services. The Phase 1A construct was recently extended from FY17 to FY19 to allow the development of new launch vehicles, which added 6 additional competitive launches for a total of 15 competitive launches. This award marks another milestone in the Air Force’s ongoing efforts to reintroduce a competitive procurement environment into the EELV program.
The Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the U.S. Air Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.