On October 10, Air Force made an announcement about the winners for Orbital Services Program-4 which compounds around $986 million for more than 9 years. SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, Aevum, Rocket Lab, Vox Space, Xbow Launch System, United Launch Alliance and Firefly Aerospace were selected for the mission.
The main reason to design OSP-4 is that it can accommodate small as well as medium payloads which have weight higher than 400 pounds. Moreover, providers need to deliver payloads inside the orbit within a time period of 1 to 2 years after they get an order. Air Force Space and Launch Enterprise Small Launch as well as Target Division located at Kirtland, New Mexico managed the program.OSP-4 is following OSP-3 contract which would expire on November 30. Only Northrop Grumman and SpaceX received contracts for OSP-3. Back in 2016, Lockheed Martin pulled its hand from the project.
The multi-vendor dealing of OSP-4 is also known by the name of multiple-award, indefinite-quantity/ indefinite-delivery contract. As per minimum guarantee of the contract all 8 companies will receive $50,000. As per contract of IDIQ, Air Force is set to complete near about 20 missions along the awardees.
During the present procurement a customer of American government can order launch towards any of the orbital 1 to 2 years from award of task order. Solicitation of OSP-4 was released by Air Force during August 14and got nine proposals till August 29.
Col. Rob Bongiovi stated that with the help of OSP-4 program government has got an option for launching of missions as per emergency. He further stated that it was a must to make contract responsive and flexible and with the program technology, schedule and mission risk get balanced, by leveraging market forces which are evolving rapidly.
During one of the news release events spokesperson of Air Force stated that OSP-4 will capitalize small launch companies. Moreover, the task will get concluded either at launch sites under the government or contractor facilities, as per the requirement of the mission.