USAF Considers New Contracting Methods
The U.S. Air Force is likely to begin implementing new purchasing practices for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) rocket family and existing and new satellite programs in the interest of efficiency, says Air Force Undersecretary Erin Conaton.
This could include bulk buys of EELV—an effort the Air Force has been exploring for months—as well as multi-year satellite procurements and changes in how the service calculates financial awards for contractors.
Proposals are now under review by officials in the Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The first of these are likely to be included in the Fiscal 2012 budget request, which will go to Congress for review in February. Conaton took office in March after serving as staff director at the House Armed Services Committee.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates intends to cut $100 billion in wasteful Pentagon spending during the next five years. The unclassified Air Force-led account for space development and procurement is usually about $9-10 billion annually. However, the portfolio has been riddled with billions of dollars of cost overruns and major delays.