Space Force selects vendors for suborbital launch services

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WASHINGTON — The Space Force’s Space Systems Command announced Jan. 26 that additional vendors have been selected for the Sounding Rocket Program-4. This is a multiyear contract where companies compete for orders to launch small rockets used to carry scientific instruments and experiments into suborbital space.

Kratos Space & Missile Defense Systems, L3Harris’ Aerojet Rocketdyne Coleman Aerospace, and Corvid Technologies were awarded indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts for Sounding Rocket Program-4. 

Sounding rockets are small test vehicles that carry scientific payloads that are put into space for short periods of time, usually for a few minutes. 

Contract value increased

When the program started in 2018, Space Vector and Northrop Grumman won seven-year IDIQ contracts for SRP-4. With the addition of three new vendors, the program has been extended until 2029 and its total projected value increased from $424 million to $877 million.

The companies will bid for task orders to provide suborbital launch services and launch support services at contractor facilities and government launch sites.

SRP-4 is run by the Space Systems Command’s small rocket program office at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.


Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense…
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