Charlie Precourt, vice president of propulsion systems at Northrop Grumman, said the company's OmegA rocket gives it an edge over competitors for the U.S. Air Force's launch service procurement effort, Space News reported Tuesday.
Precourt told attendees at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference that the Air Force can benefit from OmegA for phase two of the service's National Security Space Launch initiative because the launch vehicle requires “very few launches per year without the need for complex reusable systems.“
He added that the main framework of OmegA's core stage is “nearly identical“ to the Space Launch System's booster segments and can support manufacturing lines for other programs.
“Northrop Grumman is the only company among the launch competitors that sells many, many more products than its launch vehicles, meaning that all our overhead costs don't have to be covered by just OmegA,“ noted Precourt.
The Air Force released its solicitation for the NSSL program's second phase in May and is slated to choose two vendors for five-year contracts in 2020. Northrop is competing against Blue Origin, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.
In October, Northrop announced plans to launch OmegA from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.