U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet

The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) is the Air Force space lift modernization program. EELV will reduce the cost of launching by at least 25 percent over current Delta, Atlas, and Titan launch systems. Part of these savings result from the government now procuring commercial launch services and turning over responsibility for operations and maintenance of the launch complexes to the contractors. This new spacelift strategy reduced the government’s traditional involvement in launch processing while saving a projected $6 billion in launch costs between the years 2002 and 2020. In addition, EELV improves space launch operability and standardization.
The mission statement for the EELV program is: “Partner with industry to develop a national launch capability that satisfies both government and commercial payload requirements and reduces the cost of space launch by at least 25 percent.”.
The EELV program’s two primary objectives are to: 1) increase the U.S. space launch industry’s competitiveness in the international commercial launch services market and 2) implement acquisition reform initiatives resulting in reduced government resources necessary to manage system development, reduced development cycle time, and deployment of commercial launch services.

The two primary launch contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, provide the following information on their respective EELV variants:
Atlas V results from the culmination of Lockheed Martin's desire to employ the best practices from both the Atlas and Titan programs into an evolved and highly competitive commercial and government launch system for the 21st Century. Atlas V builds on the design innovations that will be demonstrated on Atlas III and incorporates a structurally stable booster propellant tank, enhanced payload fairing options, and optional strap-on solid rocket boosters. Atlas V achieved ILC in August 2002.
The Delta IV family blends new and mature technology to launch virtually any size medium or heavy payload into space. It is composed of five vehicles based on a common booster core (CBC) first stage. Delta IV second stages are derived from the Delta III second stage, using the same RL10B-2 engine, but with two sizes of expanded fuel and oxidizer tanks, depending on the model. In designing the five Delta IV configurations, Boeing conducted extensive discussions with government and commercial customers concerning their present and future launch requirements. Proven technical features and processes were carried over from earlier Delta vehicles to Delta IV. New technologies and processes were incorporated where they added capability or reduced cost. Delta IV achieved ILC in November 2002.

The initial phase of the EELV program, Low Cost Concept Validation (LCCV), was successfully completed in November 1996. LCCV emphasized competition in preliminary designs and risk reduction demonstrations. Four $30 million contracts were awarded during this phase to Alliant Techsystems, the Boeing Defense and Space Group, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA), and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace.
During the second phase, Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development, two $60 million, 17-month contracts were awarded to Boeing and Lockheed Martin to continue refining their system concepts and complete a detailed system design.
EELV phase three began in October 1998 with both Boeing and Lockheed-Martin each being awarded a Development Agreement and an Initial Launch Services (ILS) contract for a total of $3.0 billion worth of contracts. Under the Development Agreements, the contractors completed engineering and manufacturing development of the launch vehicle system, launch pads, satellite interfaces, support infrastructure, as well as demonstrate that the system meets all government requirements. The ILS contracts have been awarded to procure launch services for 28 Government missions between the two contractors (TBC, 19; LMC, 9) from 2002 – 2008.
In September 2000, it was determined that softening in satellite launch demand no longer supported a need for two west coast launch providers. As a result, Boeing will continue development plans to provide launch services at both coasts, while LMC will launch solely from the east coast, moving two of its originally awarded launches to TBC. Both contractors will continue with Heavy Lift development and test programs, but as of the ILS contract, only TBC has been awarded a heavy lift launch.
The first three EELV missions were all successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station Florida. The inaugural launch, Lockheed-Martin’s Atlas V Medium Lift Vehicle, lifted a commercial Eutelsat payload to orbit on 21 August 2002. Three months later on 20 November 2002, Boeing followed with a Delta IV commercial Eutelsat mission of their own. Boeing also had the honor of the first government launch, the Delta IV DSCS A3 mission on 10 March 2003. The first Heavy Lift Vehicle launch (Delta IV HLV Demo) is scheduled for September 2003 and will be followed by the first west coast launch December 2003. The second and third block buy of launch services are expected to be awarded in the spring and fall of 2003 respectively.

Point of Contact
Air Force Space Command, Public Affairs Office; 150 Vandenberg St., Suite 1105; Peterson AFB, CO 80914-4500; DSN 692-3731, or (719) 554-3731.

April 2003

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