In meetings with defense and intelligence committees on Capitol Hill this week, Air Force leaders defended their plan to select two winners in 2020 for the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.
The Senate in its version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act fully endorsed the Air Force’s launch procurement strategy, but the House is challenging it. Leading the opposition to the Air Force’s plan is House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) who disagrees with the decision to narrow the field to two companies and believes the Air Force is prematurely shutting industry players out of the NSSL program. He proposed language in the House NDAA that would compel the Air Force to add a third competitor at the tail end of the five-year period of the Phase 2 procurement.
The commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Lt. Gen. John “JT” Thompson said he met with committee leaders on Tuesday and listened to their concerns. “It’s how the U.S. government works,” Thompson said..
“We are responsible to deliver capabilities to the warfighter and to ensure that capability is procured as efficiently as possible for the taxpayer. But Congress is our ...