Breaking ULA Contract Possible, But Costly

A review conducted by USAF and Defense Department general counsel found that it is possible to terminate United Launch Alliance’s $800-million-a-year launch capability contract, but it would be expensive, Secretary Deborah Lee James said. James ordered the service’s general counsel to conduct the review after ULA—a Lockheed Martin and Boeing consortium—refused to bid on the GPS III contract, which was supposed to be the first competitive national security space launch. “Breaking that contract and allocating those costs to each individual launch of the block buy would likely cost the taxpayer between $700 and $800 million more,” James told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. However, James said she planned to take “one more step” and “get an independent legal review to see if there’s some angle that we’re missing.”