Inspired by the "Aerojet Atlas V" thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37553.0
and the roiling debate in the Vulcan thread (starting roughly page 51): http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35754.msg1377500#msg1377500
Over the next decade Department of Defense launch services will change. Right now it looks like the result will be spacex offering the Falcon family and ULA offering one launch vehicle instead of two. I don't know exactly how the Pentagon intends to procure launch services in the future but I am assuming they will want at least two vehicle families. Two vehicles likely means two providers so they will also need some way of assigning launches to both. For the purposes of this thread I'm assuming we'll see something like the NASA CRS model where offerors bid a matrix of missions and prices and the government awards each offeror a portfolio of launches with at least a minimum number of missions. Other models may be possible.
On to the fun part:
Assuming the department of defense requested proposals for an EELV successor program, who would bid alone or as a partnership and how might they fare?
-Spacex bids Falcon 9 family
I think this is a given.
-Spacex also bids a methane LV
at least one poster suggested the possibility that spacex tries to win it all for themselves-ULA bids Vulcan-ULA bids Delta IV?
Perhaps with some incremental upgrades. It won't beat Falcon, but the lack of development costs may mean it's cheaper than any new entrants.New Entrants:OrbitalATK bids something
but what? Antares can't do it. Third time's the charm for Liberty?Blue Origin
They have the ambition and are working on the engines. Lack of experience is an issue. Already partnered with ULA on BE-4.Aerojet Rocketdyne bids something on AR-1
It's unlikely AR forces Atlas V into their hands. Who else could they work with? Perhaps they form a partnership with someone else? Perhaps they find a financier willing to bet the farm on turning them into a vertically integrated launch services company?Airbus?
They have money and experience and are expanding their manufacturing footprint in the US. A partner for AR?Northrop Grumman
NG mostly got out of the space business. Any chance they'd want back in?LM or BA without ULA
I'm assuming Yuzhnoye is either headed "east" or to the scrap heap. But maybe someone buys the equipment and IP for scrap prices and ships it to the US? Not likely but crazy things happen (Aerojet bought the NK-33s). They would need engines.
Who am I missing? Who has access to launch pads? Who has access to engines? Who has integration experience?