Blue Origin – the room initiative led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – achieved a small victory Monday after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained its protest over a tender process for the Air Force for the next generation of rocket launches.
The award was to go to two companies for a series of national security satellite contracts scheduled through 2027. The lucrative contracts would be shared between the two winners. [1[ads1]9659003GAODeterminedthebasisforcontainingwhether"inconsistentmethodecourseuploggingregulation"forthatwithincompleteboundforthatwithincomplete"competitionandthecompetitionvalueintheproposal"
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In a statement provided to FOX Business, thanks to Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, GAO for investigating the "serious issues."
"This is an important assignment to Blue Origin, and we remain committed to our long-term partnership with the Air Force and to work with them when addressing GAO recommendations, "Smith said.
According to a copy of Blue Origins complaint seen by Defense News, the company had problems with several parts of the request for proposals. It argued that The selection process – looking for the two best-performing competitors – was too vague, and it also took issue with a provision that allows bidders to list vehicles for backup in the event of a problem with the new rocket. to favor the United Launch Alliance (a joint Lockheed Martin and Boeing venture) and SpaceX, both of which already have Air Force-certified rockets.
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Last year, the Air Force allocated $ 2.3 billion to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and ULA to develop rockets that met launch requirements. SpaceX filed suit after it was omitted.
Winners of the satellite contract are expected to be announced in 2020. Competitors include the United Launch Alliance, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Northrop Grumman. Blue Origins new Glenn rocket is not expected to be launched until 2021.
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United Launch Alliance was the company the Air Defense turned for years to fill this type of job. In 2014, SpaceX arrived in a lawsuit asking to compete – and it has done so several times since.
Meanwhile, Amazon recently challenged the Pentagon over its decision to crown Microsoft the winner of the winner-take-a-$ 10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.
Amazon's cloud entity, Amazon Web Services, believes the race contained both "errors" and "unmistakable bias."
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Amazon had been considered the front runner because of the other standing cloud agreements, including a $ 600 million cloud contract with the CIA. This indicates that the company already has approval to handle sensitive government data. However, the company was drawn into public controversy.