The U.S. Air Force awarded a $575 million contract to( ) of Denver for three Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launches, the Defense Department announced May 6.
Under the fixed-price contract, United Launch Alliance will launch the Navy’s second Mobile User Objective System satellite, the Air Force’s sixth Wideband Global Satcom satellite, and the L-65 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, the press release said. The Air Force typically buys launches two years before they take place.
United Launch Alliance, a Lockheed Martin-Boeing partnership, builds and operates the Atlas 5 and4 families of space launch vehicles that were developed under the EELV program and are used to carry the government’s larger spacecraft to orbit.
In addition to paying for each discrete launch that is conducted, the Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office also pay a relatively steady annual sum to cover United Launch Alliance’s overhead costs.