WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is still weeks away from making the long-delayed award of a multibillion-dollar contract to support the nation’s two main launch ranges, a service spokeswoman said.

Award of the Launch and Test Range System Integrated Support Contract (LISC) had been targeted for the second quarter of 2014 after the service acknowledged late last summer that an expected 2013 award was not going to happen. That delay gave the service more time to determine the portion of the contract to be set aside for small businesses.

The award was subsequently pushed to September and now is expected in October.

In a Sept. 23 response to questions, Alicia Garges, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, attributed the latest delay to the need for more time to complete source selection.

Proposals for the primary LISC contract — a 10-year deal that consolidates three contracts currently supporting the launch ranges at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California — were due in May 2013.

At least four industry teams are believed to have bid for the work, which is potentially valued at $2.5 billion to $3 billion:

  • Consolidated Range Enterprise, whose members include Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions of Herndon, Virginia; InDyne Corp. of Reston, Virginia; and URS Corp. of San Francisco.
  • InSpace21, whose members include PAE of Arlington, Virginia, and Honeywell Corp. of Morristown, New Jersey. 
  • Raytheon Intelligence Information and Services of Dulles, Virginia, which is leading a team that includes General Dynamics of Falls Church, Virginia; ASRC Aerospace Corp. of Greenbelt, Maryland; ARES Corp. of Burlingame, California; Schafer Corp. of Arlington; and Primus Solutions of Greenbelt.
  • Exelis Information Systems of McLean, Virginia, which is bidding with BAE Systems of Arlington, and L-3 Communications of New York.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.