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  • Global Military Communications

Space Systems Command awards $45.5M launch service order to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation


The US Space Force’s Small Launch and Targets Division’s Office awarded a $45.5 million task order to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation on May 24 via an Orbital Services Program (OSP)-4 Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The contract will provide orbital launch services for the SSC Space Sensing Directorate’s latest spacecraft innovation, the Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) prototype, known as EWS Operational Demonstration-1, for a US Space Force mission designated as USSF-261S-A.


The EWS prototype will prove out new EO/IR sensor technology to provide operational quality data to the DoD weather community and inform development of a more cost-effective and proliferated operational architecture. Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation will accomplish one launch of its Minotaur IV rocket to deliver the prototype satellite to low earth orbit. The launch of EWS Operational Demonstration-1 on USSF-261S-A is planned for May 2025.


“The Space Force is committed to increasing speed in space acquisitions, and launch is an important part of the solution. We are excited to support future weather capabilities with this launch, using our flexible contracting approach to acquire the launch service in just five months,” said Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, SSC’s chief of the Small Launch and Targets Division. “We are relentless about improving and streamlining the way we do business to use the best industry has to offer,” he added.


The OSP-4 contract allows for the rapid, competitive acquisition of launch services to meet mission requirements enabling launch within 12-24 months from task order award. OSP-4 also allows for periodic on-ramps to ensure emerging, innovative launch providers can compete for future missions.

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