L3 Technologies has been selected by United Launch Alliance (ULA) to supply avionics and related services to the company’s next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle. The deal announced on December 4 will see L3 supply the launch provider with over $1 billion in “mission-critical systems and services” over the next 10 years.
“United Launch Alliance is proud to select L3 to develop the complete avionics package for our Vulcan Centaur launch systems,” said ULA President and CEO, Tory Bruno. “We have exceptional confidence in the quality, performance and value of L3’s avionics design, which will give our customers even greater capability for new missions at a significant reduction in cost.”
The agreement will see an L3-lead integration of design and manufacturing processes across the two companies. It is hoped the integration will reduce costs, enable ULA to offer highly customisable solutions to customers and to improve ULA launch services. Much of the work will be undertaken by L3’s “Space & Sensors sector”.
“We’re leveraging 50+ years of extensive experience as a market leader in space to provide ULA with significantly more affordable, reliable and better-performing launch avionics,” said President and Chief Operating Officer for L3, Christopher E. Kubasik.
Although ULA has set an early 2019 launch date for the maiden flight of the Vulcan launch vehicle, the company is yet to downselect the vehicle’s engine. Both the Blue Origin BE-4 and Aerojet Rocketdyne AR1, the two engines still in contention, are currently undergoing a series of hot-fire tests. It is likely that ULA will await the completion of flight-ready testing on at least one of the engines before proceeding with the selection.
Image Credit: ULA