Air Force Awards STPSat-6 Payload Integration Contract to Orbital ATK

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Space and Missiles Systems Center has awarded a sole-source contract for Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6) payload integration services to Orbital ATK, Feb. 3. The STPSat-6 spacecraft will be the primary payload on the STP-3 mission expected to launch no earlier than June 2019.

The STPSat-6 integration services contract includes: payload integration, spacecraft bus modification, and test of the space vehicle. The contract also requires technical support services including SV-to-launch vehicle integration, launch preparation and execution, and on-orbit support.

As part of payload integration services, government furnished equipment (GFE) spacecraft bus hardware and software will be modified to host seven Department of Defense Space Experiment Review Board (SERB), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 (SABRS-3), and NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) payloads.

Based on the stringent operational requirements levied by the numerous mission partners, the decision was made to utilize GFE that is best suited to meet the technical requirements. The Government team determined that award to any other source than the original spacecraft developer would result in substantial duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition.

While market research revealed other vendors were capable of modifying and integrating the GFE spacecraft for use in this mission, the Government determined that only an award to the original spacecraft developer would prevent potential schedule delays associated with the engineering, modification, and testing of another contractor's system.

"This is a unique opportunity to efficiently use a surplus spacecraft bus in collaboration with interagency partners to deliver this important mission to geosynchronous orbit . The savings for each major stakeholder is significant compared to alternate courses of action," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force program executive officer for Space and Space and Missile Systems Center commander.

The launch mission, designated as STP-3, is sponsored and managed by the Space Test Program. The STPSat-6 spacecraft is the primary payload for this mission. Other spacecraft are being studied for addition to the STP-3 mission manifest. The STP-3 launch vehicle will be procured as a separate launch services contract.

Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil.