Lockheed Martin submitted its competitive proposal for the U.S. Air Force’s Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) initiative aimed at leveraging commercial satellites for some government missions.
According to the August 1 government solicitation, HoPS will provide the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and other U.S. government organizations with “a capability for hosting Government payloads on commercial spacecraft to meet mission objectives.” The HoPS contract will procure a fully functioning on-orbit hosted payload system and integrated ground system equipment and interfaces that deliver payload data to the government end user. SMC’s Developmental Planning Directorate is the acquisition office for HoPS.
In the satellite industry, it is common for multiple payloads – electronics and sensors packages designed for specific missions – to be mounted, or hosted, on a spacecraft to share launch, propulsion and power services, and their costs. From Lockheed Martin’s perspective, hosting government payloads on commercial spacecraft is an innovative approach that could address some of the U.S. government’s needs for future satellite missions in challenging times.
“We believe that the Air Force’s HoPS initiative will be a very useful tool in finding the nexus of capability, affordability, and resilience for critical national space missions,” Mark Valerio, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Military Space line of business, said.
According to Valerio, Lockheed Martin’s proposal provides a roadmap for this vision of the future. It combines the company’s strong experience in commercial space, mission engineering, and system solutions with its broad commercial industry ties to bring forward affordable payload opportunities at the right time and the right place for mission needs.
“We are certainly known for satellites, but we have a long history of developing and integrating hosted payloads onto spacecraft as well,” Valerio continued. “In fact, just since 2000, Lockheed Martin has delivered 84 payloads on 16 different types of satellites from multiple manufacturers. Three of these have been Government payloads integrated on commercial hosts where we solved the business and technical aspects of the integration challenge.”
“We are proud and eager to partner with the Air Force in pursuit of this best-balance approach for national space missions and we are committed to building on our 50-year partnership to serve in that capacity,” Valerio added.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.