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  • Satellite Evolution

Space Systems Command releases national security space launch Phase 3 draft request for proposals

Space Systems Command released two National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 3 Draft Requests for Proposals (RFP) based on a dual-lane acquisition approach to solicit industry feedback on the RFPs prior to finalization.

“Today’s draft RFP release builds upon the historic successes of the NSSL program and responds to our nation’s need to address the pacing challenge,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy, program executive officer, Assured Access to Space. “We developed an acquisition strategy consisting of a dual-lane approach that provides access to diverse commercially available systems, increases resiliency through alternate launch sites and streamlined integration timelines, allows annual on-ramping of emerging launch providers and systems, secures launch capacity, enables supply chain stability, and enhances affordability for the most stressing National Security Space missions.”

Lane 1 will use a multiple Firm Fixed Price Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract open to all qualified bidders. Bidders are not required to meet all NSSL orbits to compete in Lane 1. Lane 1 will have annual on-ramping opportunities as emerging providers or systems are ready. Lane 1 covers procurements from FY25 to FY34 consisting of a five-year base ordering period plus a five-year option. Lane 1 serves more risk-tolerant space vehicles launching to commercially addressable orbits.

Task orders for launch services are competed on an annual basis among all IDIQ awardees. The government may order missions individually or in blocks. Launch providers must propose fully-burdened launch service prices that include all applicable launch service support. Lane 1 also incorporates tiered mission assurance as required by each mission’s risk tolerance.

The government will select two awardees for Lane 2. The competitively awarded FFP Indefinite Delivery Requirements contracts will be awarded to the best value and next best value launch service providers who meet all NSSL orbits and unique mission capabilities. The contracts will have a five-year ordering period from FY25 to FY29. Lane 2 includes missions that require full mission assurance with certified launch vehicles. Lane 2 payloads require launches to more stressing orbits, necessitating higher-performance launch systems, and complex security and integration requirements. Lane 2 also includes annual Launch Service Support to cover NSS-unique costs.

Release of the Final RFPs are expected in 3rd Quarter FY23 with award for Lane 1 and Lane 2 contracts targeting 4th Quarter FY24.

Assured Access to Space (AATS) is the Space Systems Command program executive office responsible for delivering next-generation launch and on-orbit capabilities in support of the warfighter, combatant commands, intelligence agencies, civil services, allied nations and the commercial space industry. AATS is also responsible for range sustainment programs supporting launch and test customers. Innovation focus areas include sub-orbital rapid strategic mobility, on-orbit servicing and maneuvering, mission lifecycle management and tactically responsive launch.


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