Author Topic: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022  (Read 18561 times)

Offline joek

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Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« on: 12/09/2015 01:18 am »
Statement of Intent to Sole Source two Delta Heavy Launches to ULS, 7-Dec-2015:
Quote
This is a PRE-SOLICITATION NOTICE for information purposes and a statement of intent issued by the Launch Enterprise Directorate (LE) at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The Department of the Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) issues this notice to award a sole source contract to United Launch Services, LLC, for launch services for two Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles with an anticipated award date of 1st Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 and with anticipated launch quarters of 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 and 4th Quarter Fiscal Year 2022. This service includes the manufacture, test, and transportation of the launch vehicles to the designated launch site. The locations of performance are Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Any persons or companies interested in providing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launch services consistent with the launch schedule are to respond to the requirements and submit a statement of their capabilities. This posting will be augmented with a classified notice of each mission's launch vehicle interface requirements on the National Reconnaissance Office's Acquisition Research Center (ARC) 2.0 website.

...

A bit unusual in that these types of sole source notices historically have not been posted until much closer to the expected solicitation or award date.  Then again, times are changing.

Relationship to other acquisition plans is unclear: Phase 1 acquisitions are through FY2017 with flyout ending in CY2019 (or maybe 2020); Phase 2 acquisitions are planned to start in FY2018, but that is not expected to be in place until next year.

Offline Prober

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2015 01:55 am »
Statement of Intent to Sole Source two Delta Heavy Launches to ULS, 7-Dec-2015:
Quote
This is a PRE-SOLICITATION NOTICE for information purposes and a statement of intent issued by the Launch Enterprise Directorate (LE) at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The Department of the Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) issues this notice to award a sole source contract to United Launch Services, LLC, for launch services for two Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles with an anticipated award date of 1st Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 and with anticipated launch quarters of 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 and 4th Quarter Fiscal Year 2022. This service includes the manufacture, test, and transportation of the launch vehicles to the designated launch site. The locations of performance are Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Any persons or companies interested in providing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launch services consistent with the launch schedule are to respond to the requirements and submit a statement of their capabilities. This posting will be augmented with a classified notice of each mission's launch vehicle interface requirements on the National Reconnaissance Office's Acquisition Research Center (ARC) 2.0 website.

...

A bit unusual in that these types of sole source notices historically have not been posted until much closer to the expected solicitation or award date.  Then again, times are changing.

Relationship to other acquisition plans is unclear: Phase 1 acquisitions are through FY2017 with flyout ending in CY2019 (or maybe 2020); Phase 2 acquisitions are planned to start in FY2018, but that is not expected to be in place until next year.

even stranger, if kept to the ULA plan this is way past the Delta IV retirement.  So what would ULA do, build the launchers and store them?  Plus the other costs :-X
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Offline Targeteer

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #2 on: 12/09/2015 02:07 am »
It's interesting that neither launch will be from Vandenberg...
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Offline koyotez

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #3 on: 12/09/2015 02:16 am »
ULA had said in the spring
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/space/2015/03/15/ula-delta-iv-retire-rd180-russia-spacex/70231994/
That they would retire the single core delta's
I think I recall an article that said they would make the heavies as long as the customer wanted.

An NSF article from a month ago (mars roadmap?) also suggested that NASA would switch to DIVH for heavy lift in the 20s (mars 2020 rover?)

Offline koyotez

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #4 on: 12/09/2015 02:27 am »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #5 on: 12/09/2015 09:32 am »
Statement of Intent to Sole Source two Delta Heavy Launches to ULS, 7-Dec-2015:
Quote
This is a PRE-SOLICITATION NOTICE for information purposes and a statement of intent issued by the Launch Enterprise Directorate (LE) at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The Department of the Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) issues this notice to award a sole source contract to United Launch Services, LLC, for launch services for two Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles with an anticipated award date of 1st Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 and with anticipated launch quarters of 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 and 4th Quarter Fiscal Year 2022. This service includes the manufacture, test, and transportation of the launch vehicles to the designated launch site. The locations of performance are Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Any persons or companies interested in providing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launch services consistent with the launch schedule are to respond to the requirements and submit a statement of their capabilities. This posting will be augmented with a classified notice of each mission's launch vehicle interface requirements on the National Reconnaissance Office's Acquisition Research Center (ARC) 2.0 website.

...

A bit unusual in that these types of sole source notices historically have not been posted until much closer to the expected solicitation or award date.  Then again, times are changing.

Relationship to other acquisition plans is unclear: Phase 1 acquisitions are through FY2017 with flyout ending in CY2019 (or maybe 2020); Phase 2 acquisitions are planned to start in FY2018, but that is not expected to be in place until next year.

even stranger, if kept to the ULA plan this is way past the Delta IV retirement.  So what would ULA do, build the launchers and store them?  Plus the other costs :-X

Does the hi-lite part from the statement of Intent implies that someone else can bid on the flights with hardware equivalent to the Delta IV Heavy?

Offline joek

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #6 on: 12/09/2015 01:39 pm »
Does the hi-lite part from the statement of Intent implies that someone else can bid on the flights with hardware equivalent to the Delta IV Heavy?

Possibly, although similar verbiage is fairly standard.  A sole source justification and approval (J&A) document would provide more insight, although that probably won't be seen (if ever) until closer to the actual solicitation or award date.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #7 on: 12/09/2015 05:17 pm »
It's interesting that neither launch will be from Vandenberg...
To elaborate:

According to the content and discussion in another NSF forum thread Next round of U.S. optical spy satellites to start launching in 2018, the KH-11 replacements will also launch on Delta Heavy vehicles.

We've seen one NROL (deduced?) assigned to this role: September 15, 2018 - NROL-71 - Delta IV-H - Vandenberg SLC-6.  No reference to a second or third launch of the KH-11 replacement (yet).
« Last Edit: 12/09/2015 05:19 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline gosnold

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #8 on: 12/09/2015 06:42 pm »
It's interesting that neither launch will be from Vandenberg...
To elaborate:

According to the content and discussion in another NSF forum thread Next round of U.S. optical spy satellites to start launching in 2018, the KH-11 replacements will also launch on Delta Heavy vehicles.

We've seen one NROL (deduced?) assigned to this role: September 15, 2018 - NROL-71 - Delta IV-H - Vandenberg SLC-6.  No reference to a second or third launch of the KH-11 replacement (yet).

So it could be big GEO/MEO birds. Since they cannot do it with an Atlas V, that means it's at least 8.5t to GTO (and less than 12t) or 4t to GEO (and less than 6t). Maybe Orion follow-on.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2015 06:42 pm by gosnold »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #9 on: 12/09/2015 09:40 pm »
With an award date of Oct-Dec 2017 (1st qtr FY2018), 3 FH flights followed by a year certification effort may be a bit difficult. But it is still not out of the realm of possibility. Also this is outside of the block buy as well so the AF is checking to see if there is any plans by anyone (SpaceX) to try for this contract. If not then SpaceX will not be able to complain when they do a sole source. It is also a notice to ULA by the AF that no matter what their plans involving Vulcan that the pad and production for DIVH are to remain open, else they will just sole source every thing starting in 2018 to SpaceX.

Offline WindnWar

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #10 on: 12/09/2015 09:46 pm »
Statement of Intent to Sole Source two Delta Heavy Launches to ULS, 7-Dec-2015:
Quote
This is a PRE-SOLICITATION NOTICE for information purposes and a statement of intent issued by the Launch Enterprise Directorate (LE) at the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The Department of the Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) issues this notice to award a sole source contract to United Launch Services, LLC, for launch services for two Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles with an anticipated award date of 1st Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 and with anticipated launch quarters of 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 and 4th Quarter Fiscal Year 2022. This service includes the manufacture, test, and transportation of the launch vehicles to the designated launch site. The locations of performance are Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Any persons or companies interested in providing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launch services consistent with the launch schedule are to respond to the requirements and submit a statement of their capabilities. This posting will be augmented with a classified notice of each mission's launch vehicle interface requirements on the National Reconnaissance Office's Acquisition Research Center (ARC) 2.0 website.

...

A bit unusual in that these types of sole source notices historically have not been posted until much closer to the expected solicitation or award date.  Then again, times are changing.

Relationship to other acquisition plans is unclear: Phase 1 acquisitions are through FY2017 with flyout ending in CY2019 (or maybe 2020); Phase 2 acquisitions are planned to start in FY2018, but that is not expected to be in place until next year.

even stranger, if kept to the ULA plan this is way past the Delta IV retirement.  So what would ULA do, build the launchers and store them?  Plus the other costs :-X

This has been the question that hasn't made sense from a business standpoint for some time for dropping Delta medium. As long as they are still building Delta Heavy, the cost savings of dropping Delta medium doesn't amount to much, it simply eliminates the SRB's and the 4 meter DCSS and its fairing. While that amounts to some savings, it can't be much unless the plan is to build a number of Heavy cores, store them and hope they have enough for any needs until Vulcan with ACES can replace it. If they guess low, would they even be able to restart production, and if they guess high they could end up with extra Delta Heavy cores that no one wants due to price. If they don't end production of Delta altogether than other than some trivial savings associated with the medium parts they wouldn't need, all the other Delta production costs remain, but not having medium does help them argue for more engines for Atlas.




Offline pippin

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #11 on: 12/09/2015 10:26 pm »
If they store them and aim high, couldn't they just put a centaur on top of the heavy core to make a medium?
I know, Legos.... But with the common avionics and the common payload interface. Ground support interface might be an issue and it might not be worthwhile adapting that for three launches, but maybe 6...

Offline Prober

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #12 on: 12/09/2015 10:55 pm »
With an award date of Oct-Dec 2017 (1st qtr FY2018), 3 FH flights followed by a year certification effort may be a bit difficult. But it is still not out of the realm of possibility. Also this is outside of the block buy as well so the AF is checking to see if there is any plans by anyone (SpaceX) to try for this contract. If not then SpaceX will not be able to complain when they do a sole source. It is also a notice to ULA by the AF that no matter what their plans involving Vulcan that the pad and production for DIVH are to remain open, else they will just sole source every thing starting in 2018 to SpaceX.

Have you given thought that these missions just might be outside of even what a FH can deliver?
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Offline LastStarFighter

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #13 on: 12/09/2015 11:19 pm »
With an award date of Oct-Dec 2017 (1st qtr FY2018), 3 FH flights followed by a year certification effort may be a bit difficult. But it is still not out of the realm of possibility. Also this is outside of the block buy as well so the AF is checking to see if there is any plans by anyone (SpaceX) to try for this contract. If not then SpaceX will not be able to complain when they do a sole source. It is also a notice to ULA by the AF that no matter what their plans involving Vulcan that the pad and production for DIVH are to remain open, else they will just sole source every thing starting in 2018 to SpaceX.

Have you given thought that these missions just might be outside of even what a FH can deliver?

Sure do wish SpaceX would post some actual performance numbers.

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #14 on: 12/09/2015 11:21 pm »
If they store them and aim high, couldn't they just put a centaur on top of the heavy core to make a medium?
I know, Legos.... But with the common avionics and the common payload interface. Ground support interface might be an issue and it might not be worthwhile adapting that for three launches, but maybe 6...

Centaur can't mated horizontally.

Offline pippin

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #15 on: 12/09/2015 11:21 pm »

If they store them and aim high, couldn't they just put a centaur on top of the heavy core to make a medium?
I know, Legos.... But with the common avionics and the common payload interface. Ground support interface might be an issue and it might not be worthwhile adapting that for three launches, but maybe 6...

Centaur can't mated horizontally.
Couldn't you stack it using the he MST?

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #16 on: 12/09/2015 11:23 pm »

Couldn't you stack it using the he MST?

doubt there is a platform at the interface.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #17 on: 12/09/2015 11:24 pm »
With an award date of Oct-Dec 2017 (1st qtr FY2018), 3 FH flights followed by a year certification effort may be a bit difficult. But it is still not out of the realm of possibility. Also this is outside of the block buy as well so the AF is checking to see if there is any plans by anyone (SpaceX) to try for this contract. If not then SpaceX will not be able to complain when they do a sole source. It is also a notice to ULA by the AF that no matter what their plans involving Vulcan that the pad and production for DIVH are to remain open, else they will just sole source every thing starting in 2018 to SpaceX.

Have you given thought that these missions just might be outside of even what a FH can deliver?

Sure do wish SpaceX would post some actual performance numbers.

There are many hundreds more requirements than just performance capability.  It could be a handful of other ones...

Offline pippin

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #18 on: 12/09/2015 11:24 pm »


Couldn't you stack it using the he MST?

doubt there is a platform at the interface.
Yes, sure, it's clear there have to be some changes to pad infrastructure and there's probably a minimum number of flights to make it worthwhile.

Offline LastStarFighter

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Re: Delta IV Heavy NRO Launches 2021-2022
« Reply #19 on: 12/09/2015 11:39 pm »
With an award date of Oct-Dec 2017 (1st qtr FY2018), 3 FH flights followed by a year certification effort may be a bit difficult. But it is still not out of the realm of possibility. Also this is outside of the block buy as well so the AF is checking to see if there is any plans by anyone (SpaceX) to try for this contract. If not then SpaceX will not be able to complain when they do a sole source. It is also a notice to ULA by the AF that no matter what their plans involving Vulcan that the pad and production for DIVH are to remain open, else they will just sole source every thing starting in 2018 to SpaceX.

Have you given thought that these missions just might be outside of even what a FH can deliver?

Sure do wish SpaceX would post some actual performance numbers.

There are many hundreds more requirements than just performance capability.  It could be a handful of other ones...

I'm sure there's more than a handful. But still would like to see the number.

 

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