WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno said the development of the company’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket is progressing as planned and the vehicle has been offered to the U.S. Air Force in ULA’s proposal for the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.
The Air Force allowed bidders to pitch a main vehicle and also a backup rocket. During a meeting with reporters Oct. 23, Bruno said ULA is offering Vulcan as the primary vehicle and Atlas 5 as a secondary rocket for the so-called Category A/B missions, which are the majority of national security satellite launches. For the Category C missions that require a capability to launch very large satellites for the intelligence community, ULA will only offer Vulcan, not the Delta 4 Heavy which is today the only vehicle capable of performing these complex missions.
Tory Bruno, CEO of United Launch Alliance. Credit: Keith Johnson
Bruno said ULA is confident that Vulcan will be ready to fly Category C payloads by 2023, approximately one year before the last scheduled flight of the Delta 4 Heavy. The Air Force on Sept. 30 awarded ULA a five-year $1.18 billion contract to complete the last planned five ...