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The competition heats up: The Air Force has issued a request for proposals for the development of new rocket engines to replace the Russian engine used on the Atlas 5 rocket.
The press release is a little vague in that it seems to be calling for the development of this new engine, but it could also be interpreted as calling for the development of an entire rocket system. The amount of money involved is too small for this, however, so I suspect we are only talking about engine development here.
Meanwhile, they will continue to issue launch contracts to ULA and SpaceX while they wait for this new engine to be developed. Note also that this sure is a good deal for ULA, getting the Air Force to pay for upgrades to its Atlas 5 rocket.