Reuters – U.S. Air Force eyes 28 launches, shared investment for next rockets – By Andrea Shalal
The U.S. Air Force may kick off a multibillion-dollar competition for 28 launches of government satellites this spring to help end U.S. reliance on Russian-built rocket engines, according to an Air Force document seen by Reuters on Friday.
The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center mapped out the possible tender, which would include government and private sector investment, in a request for information sent to selected companies on Feb. 18, with responses due March 20.
Congress passed a law last year requiring the Air Force to end reliance by 2019 on the Russian-built RD-180 engine that powers the Atlas 5 rocket used to launch key military and intelligence satellites, given escalating tensions with Russia over its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
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