The Department of Defense has revealed three companies that have been awarded contracts to develop rockets for national security launches: United Launch Services, Orbital Sciences, and Blue Origin. All three will develop a Launch System Prototype, according to the Defense Department, designed for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.
United Launch Services has been awarded $967,000,000 under the contract, its task being the development of the Vulcan Centaur launch system. Joining it is Orbital Sciences, which has been awarded $791,601,015 for the development of the OmegA launch system. Finally, Blue Origin has been awarded $500,000,000 for the development of the New Glenn launch system.
Under each contact, the Department of Defense explains:
This award is part of a portfolio of three agreements that leverage commercial launch solutions in order to have at least two domestic, commercial launch service providers that meet National Security Space requirements, including the launch of the heaviest and most complex payloads.
In addition to the three rocket contracts, the DOD also says it has awarded General Electric Aviation with $250,000,000 for the Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission-Capability Phase I. This will involve the development and eventual demonstration and transition of advanced turbine propulsion, thermal, and power tech for improving “affordable mission capability.”