SpaceX has won a $96.5 million GPS satellite launch contract defeating United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing, the US Air Force said on Tuesday.
This is the second GPS satellite launch contract awarded by the Air Force to SpaceX. United Launch Alliance, however, did not bid for the first GPS launch contract, which was awarded in April 2016. At the time, the Air Force said SpaceX's $83 million bid was about 40 percent less than what the military had been paying United Launch Alliance for previously awarded contracts, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The GPS launch contracts won by SpaceX cover production of a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, mission integration, launch operations and spaceflight certification, the Air Force said in a statement. The launch, slated for February 2019, is intended to put the third member of the next-generation GPS satellite network into orbit. SpaceX won certification from the Air Force in 2015 to compete for military and national security space launches, breaking United Launch Alliance’s 10-year monopoly.