Northrop Grumman to advance US Air Force OmegA development
Northrop Grumman has signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with the US Air Force to continue development of the OmegA rocket as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) programme.
Worth an approximate $792 million, OmegA will provide the Department of Defense with intermediate to heavy-class launch services for national security satellites. Given that the major propulsion and structural elements are already complete, the rocket remains on target to undergo ground testing in 2019 and conduct a first launch in 2021.
“We are pleased to receive this follow-on award from the Air Force,” said Scott Lehr, President of Flight Systems at Northrop Grumman. “Our new OmegA rocket leverages technologies, capabilities and flight experience gained from decades of successful rocket launches, making it an affordable and reliable choice for national security missions.”
Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force have – over the last three years – jointly invested more than $300 million in the development of the OmegA. Its configuration includes the first and second solid rocket stages and strap-on solid boosters manufactured by Northrop Grumman, alongside a cryogenic liquid upper stage powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10C engine.
After initial flights in the intermediate configuration, OmegA will be certified for operational EELV duties from 2022 with heavy configuration flights scheduled for 2024.
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