Author Topic: USAF RFP for new EELV Launch Service Agreements (2017-10-05)  (Read 8629 times)

Offline gongora

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I'm a bit surprised this RFP was released before the Defense spending bill is finalized, you'd think they wouldn't do this unless they're sure of getting the funding?

FA8811-17-9-0001; Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service Agreements (LSA) Request for Proposals (RFP)
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 07:43 PM by gongora »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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I'm a bit surprised this RFP was released before the Defense spending bill is finalized, you'd think they wouldn't do this unless they're sure of getting the funding?
Would not the current Continuing Resolution provide sufficient authority?
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Offline gongora

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I'm a bit surprised this RFP was released before the Defense spending bill is finalized, you'd think they wouldn't do this unless they're sure of getting the funding?
Would not the current Continuing Resolution provide sufficient authority?

Possibly to get the process started, but if the final Defense spending bill prohibits funding for it (like the House version of the bill currently does) then they couldn't even award the contracts.

Offline russianhalo117

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It's appears Rob a draft RFP and not the final RFP.

Offline gongora

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It's appears Rob a draft RFP and not the final RFP.

It is the final RFP.

Offline rocketmantitan

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Gotta love the Air Force using nautical miles in the requirements documents!  Haven't changed in 20 years.   Do any of their industrial base or their Aerospace Corporation technical arm even use those units anymore?  Probably not.  Must be a bit of a pain for industry to rewrite their GNC performance analyses to convert back to nautical miles in order to submit their proposal.

Offline edkyle99

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Gotta love the Air Force using nautical miles in the requirements documents!  Haven't changed in 20 years.   Do any of their industrial base or their Aerospace Corporation technical arm even use those units anymore?  Probably not.  Must be a bit of a pain for industry to rewrite their GNC performance analyses to convert back to nautical miles in order to submit their proposal.
Hard to believe that the U.S. adopted the metric system in 1866.  Still, nautical miles remain widely used in aeronautics and sailing in the U.S..

 - Ed Kyle

Offline gosnold

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Some interestings tidbits from the RFP:
Quote
Per national policy, the Air Force intends to ensure that there are two reliable sources for all national
security launches

Quote
Offerors may submit no more than two proposals per company. Each proposal shall only include one
proposed EELV Launch System prototype. The prototype can be developed using an incremental
approach, such as achieving the launch capability for Payload Categories A and B prior to achieving
launch capability for Payload Category C. The Government will award a maximum of one agreement
for one EELV Launch System prototype per company
. The Government plans to award a portfolio of
at least three agreements, but reserves the right to award any number of agreements, including none

Quote
3.1.2 Section II: Factor 1 EELV Approach
The Offeror shall describe its approach to develop and qualify a launch system that meets EELV
launch service requirements. The SPRD and SIS are listed in Annex C, Attachment 4. At a minimum,
the Offeror shall address the following topics:
1. The ability to meet all EELV reference orbits defined in Table 10 at the orbital insertion
accuracy required in SPRD 3.2.4
2. The ability to support up to five NSS launches per year
3. The ability of the launch system to meet the payload orientation requirement in SPRD 3.2.7
4. The ability of the launch system to meet the basing requirement in SPRD 3.2.11
5. The ability of the launch system to meet the EELV mated payload protection requirement in
SPRD 3.3.2
6. The ability of the launch system to meet the payload envelope requirement in SIS 3.1.3
7. The proposed mission assurance approach to ensure low risk and high confidence in launching
NSS missions
8. The ability to slow or surge production to accommodate uncertain NSS, commercial, and civil
launch forecasts

So that means SpaceX can get funding for either a Falcon Heavy capable of inserting 7t direct into GEO and with vertical integration, or BFR.

Quote
3.1.6.2 Non-Exclusivity of Rocket Propulsion System (RPS) Sales
The Offeror shall provide a signed letter acknowledging understanding of the FY15 NDAA Section
1604 (E) requirement that any RPSs developed under this LSA will be available for purchase by all
space launch providers of the United States. The implementation of this requirement is addressed in
Article XIX of the Model Agreement (Annex C). If the Offeror is not proposing to develop any
RPSs under this LSA, the Offeror shall provide a letter with that statement.
3.1.6.3 RPS Developed By Not Later Than 2019
The Offeror shall provide a signed letter stating whether or not the RPS(s) developed under this LSA
are scheduled to complete development by 31 December 2019. The letter shall include a reference to
the related tasks in the schedule (Section 3.1.3.2).

Quote
The Government will evaluate the Offeror’s schedule to determine the risk of delayed development
for:
1. Launch system(s) capable of launching Category A and Category B payloads by 1 October
2021 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station/Kennedy Space Center or Vandenberg Air
Force Base

2. Launch system(s) capable of launching Category A and Category B payloads from Vandenberg
Air Force Base by 1 October 2024
3. Launch system(s) capable of launching Category C payloads by 1 October 2024 from
Vandenberg Air Force Base

Also some interesting tables :



Apparently there's an Overhead Persistent Infrared program that's separate from SBIRS, that's news.

And finally the full desired schedule

That is very aggressive.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 07:48 PM by gosnold »

Offline Mike Jones

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Deadline for submitting bids is on November 20th.

One can expect at least 4 bidders :
- ULA with Vulcan
- Spacex with BFR and/or Falcon Heavy
- Orbital ATK with NGL
- Blue Origin with New Glenn
 +maybe  a fifth bidder ? Aerojet Rocketdyne with a launcher based on AR1 and RL-10 with solid boosters ?

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 01:17 AM by yg1968 »

Offline edkyle99

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Here are those reference payloads in metric units.

The "C" Category missions, especially "GEO2",  are
the "Heavy" missions.  Everything else appears to
be "Medium" type. 

EELV REFERENCE ORBITS

ORBIT                                   MASS      CATEGORY
-----------------------------------------------------------
LEO      926 km x 63.4 deg              6,804 kg    A&B
Polar 1  833 km x 98.2 deg              7,030 kg    A&B
Polar 2  833 km x 98.2 deg             17,010 kg    C
MEO 1    18,177 km x 50 deg             5,330 kg    A&B
MTO 1    1,000 x 20,368 km x 55 deg     4,082 kg    A&B
MEO 2    20,368 km x 55 deg             4,082 kg    A&B
MTO 2    1,000 x 20,368 km x 55 deg     5,080 kg    A&B
GTO      185 x 35,786 km x 27 deg       8,165 kg    A&B
Molniya  1,204 x 39,170 km x 63.4 deg   5,216 kg    A&B
GEO 1    35,786 km x 0 deg              2,268 kg    A&B
GEO 2    35,786 km x 0 deg              6,577 kg    C
---------------------------------------------------------
Categories
A:  4 meter diameter PLF
B:  5 meter diameter PLF
C:  5 meter diameter Extended PLF
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 02:55 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline woods170

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Gotta love the Air Force using nautical miles in the requirements documents!  Haven't changed in 20 years.   Do any of their industrial base or their Aerospace Corporation technical arm even use those units anymore?  Probably not.  Must be a bit of a pain for industry to rewrite their GNC performance analyses to convert back to nautical miles in order to submit their proposal.
Hard to believe that the U.S. adopted the metric system in 1866.  Still, nautical miles remain widely used in aeronautics and sailing in the U.S..

 - Ed Kyle
The metric system was adopted, in theory. In practice: not by a long shot.

Offline speedevil

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Am I reading this correctly, in that it is only the rocket engines that, if developed under this agreement must be shared tech. If the rocket engine development is complete by 2019, as at least seems plausible, for some of the vendors, they can use the funding under this agreement to develop the rest of the rocket system, and not need to share technology at a 'commercially reasonable price' with other companies?

Offline rockets4life97

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Has anyone done an analysis of whether the main contenders (Vulcan, New Glenn, BFR) as currently designed can meet the payloads required for each reference orbit?

Offline gongora

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Has anyone done an analysis of whether the main contenders (Vulcan, New Glenn, BFR) as currently designed can meet the payloads required for each reference orbit?

I don't think I'd call BFR a main contender for this, the Falcon family would be more likely.  You're also leaving off the O/ATK proposal.

Offline rockets4life97

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I don't think I'd call BFR a main contender for this, the Falcon family would be more likely.

I suppose that depends on how seriously you take Elon Musk's claim to transition in the early 2020s away from the Falcon 9/FH to BFR. It doesn't look like SpaceX needs much development money for Falcon 9/FH.

Offline gongora

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I don't think I'd call BFR a main contender for this, the Falcon family would be more likely.

I suppose that depends on how seriously you take Elon Musk's claim to transition in the early 2020s away from the Falcon 9/FH to BFR. It doesn't look like SpaceX needs much development money for Falcon 9/FH.

I don't think anyone is going to count on SpaceX meeting that schedule for BFR flights, and you may be underestimating the amount left to spend on development of vehicles and facilities for the Falcon line to fully meet the DoD requirements.

Offline meberbs

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Gotta love the Air Force using nautical miles in the requirements documents!  Haven't changed in 20 years.   Do any of their industrial base or their Aerospace Corporation technical arm even use those units anymore?  Probably not.  Must be a bit of a pain for industry to rewrite their GNC performance analyses to convert back to nautical miles in order to submit their proposal.
As long as they aren't mixing nautical miles with data miles (a nautical mile rounded to the nearest 1000 ft) it is an improvement from some things I have seen. I have seen a system that at one point had decided that nautical miles and data miles were close enough to be considered the same thing. This was no longer the case, but some user displays still gave numbers in data miles, but labeled nautical miles. Even on the same screen a display could label everything as nautical miles, but half of the numbers were really data miles. Even presentations about the system would sometimes do the same thing.

Offline envy887

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I don't think I'd call BFR a main contender for this, the Falcon family would be more likely.

I suppose that depends on how seriously you take Elon Musk's claim to transition in the early 2020s away from the Falcon 9/FH to BFR. It doesn't look like SpaceX needs much development money for Falcon 9/FH.

I don't think anyone is going to count on SpaceX meeting that schedule for BFR flights, and you may be underestimating the amount left to spend on development of vehicles and facilities for the Falcon line to fully meet the DoD requirements.

Specifically, SpaceX needs at least Falcon Heavy flying, vertical integration facilities, a longer fairing, and a heavier PAF.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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I think there are four companies that can participate in this competition.
BlueOrigin New Glenn (or ...)
Orbital-ATK NGL (If Castor 300; ...600 & ...1200 development is funded)
SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
ULA Delta IV H and Vulcan Centaur (Atlas V is backup)

Could NGL and Vulcan (BE-4 & AR1) use the same upper-stage?

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