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The deputy inspector general of the Defense Department has notified the Air Force that he is beginning an investigation into ULA and the DOD over their relationship and contract.
He also made it clear that the investigation was sparked by last week’s comments by a ULA executive who subsequently resigned.
This is all a game. The Air Force and ULA have been colluding for years to squeeze out any competition. There is no one in Washington who needs an investigation to find this out. The inspector general will issue a report, the Air Force will admit its error and promise to do better, and they will then try to have things continue as they have.
The one difference, however, will be that SpaceX will be there, providing real competition. Thus, what matters isn’t the investigation by the inspector general. What matters is the existence of a competing company willing to put cost pressure on ULA and the Air Force.