Air Force plans robust competition for small launches

The Air Force has decided that all of the bidders that applied for the Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 contract will be eligible to compete, reports Aviation Week.

The competitive-range review took place in mid-September, the Air Force said. The service declined to divulge how many bidders have offered options for the OSP-3 contract.

The Air Force plans to select the winners by Dec. 31, the story said. The winners will compete for specific launches at a later time.

SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences and ATK are all in the running, the story said. United Launch Alliance, which operates a monopoly in the U.S. on large launchers, is not allowed to bid, as this program is being set aside for new entrants.


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