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Pentagon willing to fund two EELV companies
Posted: Thu, Feb 13, 2003, 8:31 AM ET (1331 GMT)
Atlas 5 liftoff The Defense Department is willing to provide financial support to both Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) manufacturers but at lower levels than previously discussed. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Air Force plans to give a combined $538 million to Boeing and Lockheed Martin over the next several years to support their Delta 4 and Atlas 5 vehicles, respectively. That funding includes $164 million in the fiscal year 2004 budget proposal, $140 million of which would be used to pay for facilities and personnel. Late last year a Defense Department official suggested that up to $1 billion would be available over the next five years to support both companies given the depressed commercial launch market and stiff international competition. However, last month other reports indicated that the Air Force would eventually drop support for one of the vehicles, essentially killing it. The Journal report also indicated that the next round of military EELv launch contracts would be awarded differently than the first round, when 22 of the 29 went to Boeing. Under the new proposal neither company would be allowed to win more than 60 percent of the contracts.
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