SMC Releases Draft RFP for Six Launches

The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center released a draft request for proposal for six launches in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program on May 3. Three of the launches will have GPS III satellite payloads and will be awarded in a “winner-take-all” contract. The other payloads—AFSPC-8, AFSPC-12, and AFSPC-52—will receive individual launch services contracts. The draft RFP does not detail the payloads of those missions, though the AFSPC-52 description includes provisions for classified security requirements. The GPS III satellites, which will be the fourth, fifth, and sixth in that constellation, are expected launch dates of January 2020, October 2020, and February 2021. AFSPC-12 and AFSPC-52 are expected to launch in January 2020, and AFSPC-8 is expected to launch in April 2020. United Launch Alliance and SpaceX are the only two service providers certified to compete for EELV launch contracts. In March, SpaceX was awarded a contract to launch the third GPS III satellite. The draft RFP asks for responses by May 16, and it says the five criteria of small business subcontracting, past performance, performance (including concept of operations), schedule, and price will receive “equal importance” in assessing proposals.