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Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts
[WASHINGTON] The Pentagon said on Friday it awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX US$653 million in combined military launch contracts.
The contracts are for launch service orders through 2024, with the first missions launching in fiscal year 2022.
The United States Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center will order launch services annually from ULA and SpaceX.
ULA will receive a contract for approximately 60 per cent of launch services orders and Elon Musk's SpaceX will receive approximately 40 per cent.
"Maintaining a competitive launch market, servicing both government and commercial customers, is how we encourage continued innovation on assured access to space. Today's awards mark a new epoch of space launch that will finally transition the Department off Russian RD-180 engines," said William Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.
The Pentagon said service and support contracts will be issued to ULA for US$337 million and SpaceX for US$316 million for launch services to meet fiscal year 2022 launches.
ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.