Delta 2 Still Alive
Thank you for recognizing the outstanding reliability record of the Delta 2 system in your
editorial “The Post Delta 2 Void” [Sept. 3, page 18].
The Delta 2 is an exceptional product that has served and will continue to serve our nation for many more years. Our most recent launch of the Phoenix mission to Mars marked the 74th consecutive success for Delta 2. This record of reliability was delivered by thousands of women and men who have demonstrated their commitment to mission success and innovation over five decades. This commitment is now the proud responsibility of United Launch Alliance (ULA), and we plan to build on the experience to support Delta 2, our Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) products and future products that we will provide to support our customers needs.
You accurately articulated the current dilemma caused by the transition of Air Force missions from the medium-class Delta 2 to the more performance-capable EELV systems. In the near term, the current market demand for medium-class missions is severely depressed.
In your editorial you implied a “death sentence” or exit strategy for ULA’s Delta 2, and highlighted other companies’ potential entry into the medium market. I want to reiterate that United Launch Alliance is committed to highly reliable and best value solutions for our customers in this market class. Existing unsold Delta 2 inventory is available to bridge the gap in the manifest timing. ULA is working on many options to serve the market during this lower manifest demand and to be positioned when the demand rebounds. The Delta 2 heritage is a shining example of a team of people committed to serving their customers well. Please do not imply that we are out of the market.
President and Chief Executive Officer
United Launch Alliance