The U.S. Air Force has issued a request for proposals for five launch services contracts to support the deployment of three Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellites and the Air Force Space Command's satellites 8 and 12 into space, Space News reported Wednesday.
Claire Leon, director of the launch enterprise directorate at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, said the move to group space launches into one batch under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program seeks to accelerate the acquisition process.
Leon added interested vendors should submit proposals on all five launches through Aug. 14 and would only get a waiver not to make an offer for a specific launch contract if there are technical issues.
The service branch plans to award firm-fixed-price contracts in fiscal 2018 and each of the EELV contracts covers launch vehicle development, launch operations and mission integration.
The AFSPC-8 mission is composed of two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites ““ GSSAP 5 and 6 ““ and is scheduled to launch during the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
AFSPC-12 involves two space vehicles that include the propulsive EELV secondary payload adapter and the Wide Field of View testbed that are set to take off in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.