Space Force releases second draft RFP for NSSL Phase 3

By Apurva Minchekar / July 14, 2023 at 3:49 PM

Space Systems Command yesterday posted a second draft request for proposals for Phase III of the space launch acquisitions program, a dual-lane approach with two separate contract types.

In February, Inside Defense reported the Space Force would use dual lanes for National Security Space Launch services to widen the scope of contractors’ competition for future space launch acquisitions.

The Defense Department, in the second draft RFP, said Lane 1 would consist of multiple-award, indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contracts, which will have a five-year basic ordering period and a five-year option ordering period.

“The government will reopen the original IDIQ solicitation on an annual basis to on-ramp emerging platforms or systems,” DOD said.

In addition, Lane 2 will comprise three indefinite-delivery requirement contracts with a five-year ordering period and will include launch services, mission unique services, launch service support, fleet surveillance, early integration studies and special studies.

Expanding on the early integration studies for the first ordering year of Phase III Lane 2, the command said the EIS will be a risk reduction activity whose results will be used to measure the compatibility between the launch vehicle and the spacecraft.

“For first-time missions of a specific space vehicle and/or new entrant launch vehicle configuration, EIS is vital to identify the space vehicle's mission unique requirements and assess the launch vehicle’s ability to integrate with space vehicle interfaces,” the command said.

According to the Lane 2 performance work statement, the contractor would be responsible for providing at least eight NSSL services per year.

Further, Inside Defense recently reported that an amendment to establish an additional lane, Lane 2A, two years into Phase III of the space launch acquisition program was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee in its version of the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill.

The Space Force will also be hosting an industry day on July 20-21, to provide updates on the program’s first draft request for proposals for both lanes.