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Air Force Awards NROL-52 and NROL-71 Launch Services Contract

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at 9:09 a.m. May 22 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. The 45th Space Wing commander was pleased with the performance of the team for this launch. (Courtesy/United Launch Alliance)

An Atlas V carries an NRO payload into space. The U. S. Air Force awarded launch services contracts for the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL- 52 and NROL- 71 missions to United Launch Alliance, Nov. 12. (Courtesy photo/United Launch Alliance)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- The U. S. Air Force awarded launch services contracts for the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL- 52 and NROL- 71 missions to United Launch Alliance on the existing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Phase 1 Block Buy contract on Nov. 12.  The Phase 1 Block Buy contract with ULA garnered $4.4 billion in total savings with 36 rocket cores procured from Fiscal Years 2013 to 2017.  These two missions count toward the original contractual Phase 1 Block Buy commitment to ULA. 

The launch service contracts include launch vehicle production and launch operations for the NROL-52 and NROL-71 missions.  NROL-52 is scheduled to launch as early as Oct. 1, 2017 and NROL-71 is scheduled to launch as early as Sept. 15, 2018. 

"These launches will support the NRO's mission of providing innovative overhead intelligence systems for national security.   The Air Force's acquisition strategy for these contract awards achieves a balance between mission assurance, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and Space and Missile Systems Center commander.

The Space and Missile Systems Center is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

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