The Department of Defense awarded 15 separate contracts Wednesday, worth $1.66 billion in aggregate. But one single contract award ate up 65% of the monies on offer -- and United Launch Services won it.
ULS, better known by its parent company's name, United Launch Alliance, is the joint venture between Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) that currently dominates the business of lofting satellites into space here in the United States.
On Wednesday, these companies' ULS subsidiary was issued a $1.088 billion "Not-To-Exceed" letter contract to help fund production of the new Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, or EELV. DoD specified that ULS will be configuring its EELV for launch aboard several Air Force and National Reconnaissance Organization launch vehicle configurations:
- AF (Air Force) Atlas V 401 (the Arabic numerals following the rocket name refer to the size and power of the launcher variant to be used).
- AF Atlas V 501.
- AF Delta IV 4,2.
- AF Delta IV 5,4.
- NRO Atlas 401.
- NRO Atlas 541.
- NRO Delta IV 5,2.
ULS is expected to have its work completed by 2015.