United Launch Alliance Assumes Marketing and Sales for Atlas V from Lockheed Martin

Atlas V lifts off with NROL-52 satellite. (Credit: ULA)

Centennial, Colo., Jan. 22, 2018 (ULA PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today that it has assumed responsibility for the marketing and sales of Atlas V, the world’s most reliable launch vehicle, from Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. In addition to performing all of the operational activities related to Atlas V launch services, as ULA has done since its formation in 2006, ULA now has the full authority to market and sell Atlas V launch services to commercial customers.

“ULA has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last two years, and with our innovative techniques, coupled with world-class reliability and schedule certainty, we are well positioned to offer Atlas V launch services to our current and potential commercial customers,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “ULA will serve as a business partner committed to building a launch strategy that maximizes the commercial provider’s profits and positions them above their competition.”

ULA leads the industry in mission and schedule reliability, building on a successful heritage of nearly six decades. When it absolutely, positively has to get to space safely and on time, ULA gets the job done. ULA’s Atlas V has flown 75 missions with 100 percent mission success, from numerous GPS satellites flying today to exploring the solar system and beyond, and has the highest reliability with the lowest insurance rates in the industry. ULA offers extensive experience from a long heritage of launching communications and Earth imaging commercial missions for customers around the world.

“The value of a launch is a lot more than its price tag. ULA Atlas V launch services help customers capture savings and added value by delivering spacecraft to orbit earlier, extending mission life, and providing unsurpassed schedule certainty,” said Bruno. “Lockheed Martin’s Commercial Launch Services organization served its customers well with a flawless record of mission success and strong customer partnerships for more than a decade. We look forward to continuing that legacy of performance, service and precision.”

Tom Tshudy, ULA’s vice president and general counsel, will lead the new global commercial sales organization. Before joining ULA, Tshudy served as senior vice president and general counsel for International Launch Services (ILS) as well as vice president and general counsel at Lockheed Martin while ILS was a subsidiary to sell and market launch services utilizing the Atlas II, III and V launch vehicles.

With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 120 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation.

  • Arthur Hamilton

    Congrats to Mr. Bruno. I am guessing that should make it easier to wben it comes to bidding for contracts.

  • I do think this is kinda a big deal. As you mention, it consolidates more of ULA within ULA’s hands: it’s hard to blame ULA for low sales if they aren’t responsible for marketing. The more important part is that Lockheed is showing they are serious about ULA and Vulcan succeeding. The Europeans did the similar but more drastic option of spinning off the ArianeGroup as an independent entity to compete more effectively. While I can’t say if this move will be SUFFICIENT for Vulcan to succeed, it certainly is NECESSARY.

  • Vladislaw

    I wonder if the profits from Atlas launches are going to be distributed by ULA on how they see fit or will vulcan still get funding by the quarter.

  • Michael Halpern

    “to orbit earlier, extending mission life.. schedule certainty” not sure how they “extend mission life” but the other two are only true until SX catches up with their manifest, and I wouldn’t say they save money either

  • I think the “extending mission life” thing is the accuracy of orbital insertion. I think they are saying the payload doesn’t need to use as much onboard propellant and so the vehicle can last longer. I don’t know how much that really buys, but marketing has to say SOMETHING!

  • My guess is that if LockMart was gonna milk this just for profit, they would keep the sales (and profits) for commercial launches. My read on this is that it’s an honest attempt to let Vulcan succeed – and that means integrating engineering, production and sales now, BEFORE Vulcan comes online.

  • Michael Halpern

    And that is a matter of time, and if they develop a kicker stage or if Nanoracks develops SHERPA to be used as a kicker stage as well

  • Michael Halpern

    Alternatively to get it off their hands if it fails