SpaceX has been awarded an $82.7 million pact to launch a global tracking satellite for the Air Force.
It’s a first-time pact for a military launch for the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company. SpaceX won the right to bid for such work last May, muscling in on a launch segment previously handled exclusively by United Launch Alliance, the Centennial, Colo.-based joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The tracking-satellite agreement was announced April 27.
“This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions,” said Air Force program executive officer Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves.
SpaceX will provide comprehensive launch services for the mission, tentatively set for May 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Air Force said one other company bid on the mission but didn’t identify the bidder.