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William LaPlante: US Faces Issues Over Space Launch Competition, Russian-Made Engine Dependence

William LaPlante: US Faces Issues Over Space Launch Competition, Russian-Made Engine Dependence - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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William LaPlante
William LaPlante

William LaPlante, assistant secretary for acquisition of the U.S. Air Force, has said the U.S. could face difficulties in its efforts to simultaneously maintain access to space, advance competition in space launches and cease dependence on Russian-built rocket engines, Reuters reported Tuesday.

“I don’t think you can get all three in the next four or five years,” LaPlante told reporters.

Andrea Shalal writes LaPlante“™s remarks came nearly a week after Boeing and Lockheed“™s joint venture United Launch Alliance decided not to bid for the next Air Force GPS III satellite launch services contract.

ULA said the Defense Department“™s refusal to issue a waiver on the use of Russian-made RD-180 engines prevented the joint venture from a bid against SpaceX.

Lara Seligman also reported for Air Force Times that LaPlante has expressed his commitment to the Long Range Strike-Bomber program amid his planned departure from the service branch to rejoin nonprofit organization Mitre.

“I“™m not going to leave until we get this thing done right, and done right also meant how we communicated it when we made the announcement down in the press room,“ LaPlante said.

LaPlante will leave his post at the Air Force to serve in a senior role at Mitre and oversaw the award of the LRS-B contract to Northrop Grumman last month.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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