The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a $130m Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-52 launch services contract to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).
Under the firm-fixed-price contract, the company will provide Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch services to deliver AFSPC-52 satellite to its intended orbit.
SpaceX will provide the US Government with a complete launch solution that includes launch vehicle production and mission, in addition to mission integration, launch operations and spaceflight worthiness activities.
The AFSPC-52 is a classified mission that is planned to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, US, in the late fiscal year 2020.
The current launch service contract is the fifth competitive procurement under the current Phase 1A strategy of the mission and offers a balance between operational needs and reducing launch costs through the reintroduction of competition for national security space missions.
USAF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) commander and programme executive officer lieutenant general John Thompson said: “The competitive award of this EELV launch service contract directly supports SMC’s mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation while maintaining assured access to space.”
Work on the project will be carried out in Hawthorne in California, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and McGregor in Texas, US. The project is expected to be completed by September 2020.
The Contracting Division, Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, SMC, Los Angeles Air Force Base in California serves as the contracting activity for the project.
The AFSPC SMC focuses on acquiring and developing military space systems.