November 19 (UPI) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin won a U.S. Congressional accountability office on Monday over a protest over a U.S. Defense Department military space launch procurement contract,media reported. Government Office, GAO, which investigates and oversees federal government planning and spending support.
In a protest in August, Blue Origin said the U.S. Air Force’s decision to select two of the country’s next defense satellites from four rocket companies over the next five years was “seriously flawed and prevented bidders from preparing their bids wisely” and ” Suppressing competition by keeping unselected suppliers out for more than five years.”
The u.S. Department of Defense’s program, called Launch Services Procurement (LSP) Phase II, is not clear, but is expected to be worth billions of dollars, and the Department of Defense will allocate 34 future defense satellite launch contracts to the two companies between 2022 and 2027.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said Monday that the U.S. Air Force program’s “award basis is inconsistent with applicable procurement laws and regulations” and recommended that the agency change its bidding rules. If the Air Force does not agree to the Government Accountability Office’s recommendation, Congress could intervene. Since 2015, only one of the nearly 2,000 protest statements from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has formally rejected the agency’s recommendations.
But the Air Force said it “does not intend to modify the LSP tender terms as a result of this protest” and believes its current approach is in the best interest spree for national security and open competition. Back in 2014, the U.S. Congress launched the Air Force LSP program, hoping to select two contractors by the end of 2020, freeing the U.S. from its reliance on military launches using Russian RD-180-engine rockets by 2022.
United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, uses RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rockets. Since its inception in 2006, ULA has dominated the U.S. military launch market, sending most U.S. defense satellites into space.
In addition to the launch procurement controversy, Bezos’s Amazon is also protesting the U.S. Department of Defense’s recent decision to award Microsoft $10 billion in cloud computing contracts, claiming that political factors undermine the fair bidding process. (Small)