Press Release

Final RFP Released for Launch Services Contract

By SpaceRef Editor
June 29, 2017
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The Air Force released a final Request for Proposal for an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service supporting the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-8, AFSPC-12 and GPS III 4-6 missions.  The draft RFP was released on May 3 to obtain industry feedback for the final RFP.  After extensive industry engagements and Government reviews, the final RFP was released on June 29, 2017 with proposals due back to the Air Force no later than August 14, 2017 in accordance with the solicitation instructions. The contracts for these missions are expected to be awarded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

The Air Force will award multiple firm-fixed price contracts that will provide the government with a total launch solution for the AFSPC-8, AFSPC-12 and three GPS III missions. Each award includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations. If an offeror is awarded multiple missions, the Air Force will award one contract with that offeror to cover all awards. The three GPS III missions will be awarded as a single “winner take all” block and the remaining missions will be awarded individually.  The Air Force’s acquisition strategy for this solicitation achieves a balance between mission success/operational needs, and lowering launch costs, through reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions.

“This solicitation marks another opportunity to foster competition on the EELV program in an effort to reduce launch costs while maintaining assured access to space with two or more launch providers,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander.

The AFSPC-8 mission is comprised of two identical Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites, known as GSSAP 5&6. AFSPC-8 will be launched during the 3rd quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 into a geosynchronous orbit.

The AFSPC-12 mission is comprised of a forward space vehicle (SV) and an aft SV. The forward SV is known as the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed and the aft SV is a propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA). Both SVs will be launched during the 2nd quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 into a geosynchronous orbit.

The three GPS III missions will deliver sustained, reliable GPS capabilities to America’s warfighters, our allies, and civil users. GPS provides positioning, navigation and timing service to civil and military users worldwide.  

This is the fifth competitive launch service solicitation under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy.  The Phase 1A procurement strategy reintroduces competition for National Security Space launch services. 

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.

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SpaceRef staff editor.