United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Denver received a $927.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to support the company’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) operations for 2010, according to an Oct. 2 Defense Department announcement.
ULA, a Lockheed Martin-Boeing partnership, operates the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rocket fleets that support the U.S. government and commercial customers. The EELV Launch Capabilities contract the company received will cover infrastructure, work force and overhead costs associated with maintaining the rocket production lines. The Air Force and all other customers contract separately with ULA to pay for individual launches.
In previous years, the Air Force has issued separate EELV Launch Capabilities contracts for both the Atlas and Delta lines. Those contracts were combined for the first time this year, and will result in reduced administrative costs and increased mission responsiveness, according to an Oct. 5 ULA statement.
Prior to 2009, the EELV Launch Capabilities contracts were funded by both the Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office. At the behest of Congress, the Air Force is now fully responsible for the contracts.