SpaceX and ULA win five-year Space Force launch contracts

The US Space Force has awarded contracts for more than 30 national security launches  to United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX. 

ULA will cover around 60% of the planned missions under the Space Force’s five-year National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 procurement. The remaining 40% of missions will be covered by SpaceX.

The launches are scheduled to commence in fiscal year 2022 and run through to 2027.

The firm-fixed-price, indefinite delivery requirement contracts include $337m in funding for ULA and $316m for SpaceX to cover the first year of launches.

Adranos wins US Army hypersonic research contracts 

Purdue University-affiliated company Adranos has won over $1.1m worth of contracts from the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Center and the OUSD’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office to conduct hypersonic research.

Adranos will conduct tests the functionality of its high-performance solid rocket fuel ALITECvwithin a hypersonic propulsion system known as a solid-fuel ramjet.

Adranos will use Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories’ heated air system to simulate Mach 4 environments for hypersonic research.

The company expects ALITEC to increase firing range for solid-fuel ramjets, tehreby maximising system performance.

EOI wins USAF award to develop VLEO optical payload

Earth Observant (EOI) has secured a US Air Force (USAF) contract for the development of a very low earth orbit (VLEO) optical payload.

EOI is working with AFWERX, the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory  on the development.

Using computing architecture that delivers high-resolution satellite imagery in near-real-time, the company will advance its vision for a VLEO satellite imaging platform.

EOI is building a constellation of small satellites flying in very low earth orbit, aiming to provide actionable intelligence in real-time from space for government and business intelligence applications.

StackRox to provide security platform to USAF and DoD

StackRox has won a contract to deliver its Kubernetes security platform for the US Air Force (USAF) AFWERX and US Department of Defense (DoD).

Under this contract, StackRox will build on the work that was completed in an earlier phase of the project. 

It will support DevOps and DevSecOps initiatives for Platform One as well as software factories across the USAF and DoD. Kubernetes will help developers create and deploy software applications in a way that is secure,  flexible and interoperable.

US Air Force extends use of Falkonry's AI system

The US Air Force innovation hub (AFWERX) has awarded a contract to Falkonry for its artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The contract expands on the existing use of the company’s AI products in the US Air Force (USAF) and other parts of the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The contract is based on the success of Falkonry's operations and pattern detection capabilities during its previous work for the DoD, including work carried out by the company along with the Joint Warfare Analysis Center.

KBR to support US Army missile programme

US engineering firm KBR has secured a $165m task order for a project within the US Army Program Executive Office Missiles and Space.

KBR will provide engineering services on missile systems for the Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions Project Office, including the Hellfire missile, the joint air-to-ground missile system and other guided missiles.

KBR will be responsible for the research, development, testing, evaluation and integration of tactical rocket and missile systems, ancillary launchers and test sets.

UK DASA launches competition to enhance explosive and weapon detection

The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a £2.8m competition seeking advanced technological solutions for enhanced detection of explosives, weapons and illicit drugs.

The cross-governmental project is known as Innovative Research Call (IRC) 2020 for Explosives and Weapons Detection.

Up to £1m is available for proposals under Phase 1. During this phase, proposal bids of £70,000 will have six months to develop a proof of concept. The deadline for proposal submissions under Phase 1 is 28 September 2020.

Australia releases request for proposals for special forces helicopters

Australia has released a request for proposals (RFP) for new special forces helicopters under LAND2097 Phase 4. 

The RFP will remain open for one month in the market and the Australian defence industry is being invited to participate.  

Received proposals will be evaluated by the end of the year. 

Under LAND2097 Phase 4, the Australian Defence Force will explore its industry options for the upgrade of the new fleet of light helicopters. 

Australia commits $930m for Maritime UAS programme, announces tender

Australia plans to invest up to A$1.3bn in the devleopment of new maritime unmanned aircraft systems.

The programme seeks to improve situational awareness across Australia’s coastline, provide reconnaissance support and improve the response options of Royal Australian Navy ships.

The government will issue an invitation to register to evaluate the capability of the domestic industry to deliver all components of the project. Detailed advice will be released on AusTender later this month.