United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno has said the Boeing–Lockheed Martin joint venture cannot submit a bid for the GPS III satellite launch contract due to a ban on the Russia-made RD-180 engine, Reuters reported Friday.
Irene Klotz writes Bruno made the remarks in Florida after the U.S. Air Force issued a request for proposals on Wednesday for GPS 3 satellites the service branch plans to launch in 2018.
The service branch will accept proposals through Nov. 16, according to the report.
According to SpaceNews, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 bans the use of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine on ULA’s Atlas V.
ULA has already designated five Russian manufacturer-built engines that were not subject to the ban for commercial and civil missions, Warren Ferster wrote for SpaceNews.
Claire Leon, director of the launch enterprise directorate at Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, said ULA has the option to either wait for congressional action or apply for a national security waiver from the defense secretary with regard to the ban, Ferster reported.