WASHINGTON — Boeing Defense, Space & Security of St. Louis will partner with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) of McLean, Va., to pursue a multibillion dollar contract to operate and maintain the U.S. Air Force’s space launch ranges, Boeing officials said June 7.

The Air Force manages three separate range support contracts: one to operate the Western Range at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.; one to operate the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.; and one to perform heavy maintenance and repair work at both ranges. Starting in 2012, all of that work will be consolidated under the Launch and Test Range System Integrated Support Contract (LISC), expected to be worth some $3 billion over 10 years.

While Boeing is not involved with the Air Force’s range operations, it has a history of assuming control of legacy government systems and finding efficiencies that put them on a long-term sustainable path, Art Glaab, Boeing’s capture team leader for the LISC program, said during a June 7 conference call with reporters.

The company also has other large-scale integration and management responsibilities, such as those for the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system and a classified system for the National Reconnaissance Office, said Joe Shaheen, Boeing’s infrastructure and range services business leader.

Boeing’s other partners for the LISC competition include LJT & Associates of Columbia, Md., and Global AOC World Services of Irvine, Calif., Glaab said. A draft request for proposals for LISC is expected to be released this month, with the final solicitation coming toward the end of the year.

Prior to Boeing’s announcement, five teams had declared their intention to go after the consolidated range operations contract.

Raytheon Technical Services of Reston, Va., and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) of Falls Church, Va., have been operating the Eastern Range together since 1988 but will part ways to pursue LISC.

CSC is aligned with Honeywell Corp. of Morristown, N.J., while Raytheon is leading a team that includes General Dynamics, ASRC Aerospace Corp., ARES Corp., Schafer Corp., and World Technical Services Inc.

InDyne of Reston, Va., has been operating the Western Range since 2003 along with Northrop Grumman Technical Services of Herndon, Va. InDyne has joined a team led by Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions of Gaithersburg, Md., while Northrop Grumman will compete for LISC as a prime contractor.

ITT Corp. of White Plains, N.Y., for the last 10 years has performed the heavy maintenance and repair work for the Air Force’s launch ranges. ITT will bid as a prime contractor for LISC along with partners BAE Systems and L-3 Communications.