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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

ULA to Government: Don't Force Compeition

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) that is the product of the Boeing and Lockheed Martin merger is laying off 19% of its workforce to reduce overlap in the Atlas and Delta rockets. That isn't what caught my attention, though.
[ULA Chief Operating Officer Dan Collins] urged the government not to force a competitive environment on an industry that may be ill suited to it.

"I'm not saying no to competition, I'm just urging us to be judicious in its use," Collins said. "Our success will be judged not on how widely we used the tool of competition, but ... on how wisely we used the tool of competition."
For some odd reason I thought competition was the natural state of the market until the government starting screwing with it. They acknowledged that SpaceX is really there only current competition due to ITAR.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, after talking about switching from a cost-plus to fix-price contracts, said:
"The Air Force has erected enormous barriers to entry at least in the launch market, and made it really very difficult to get in," Musk said. "It's sort of strange that we have over 30 missions on contract for Falcon 9 — which is a vehicle that has more capability than the Delta 4 Medium — but not one of those is with the Air Force. Why is that?"
So Mr Collins, no need to worry. The government isn't going to let, um I mean force any competition on you.

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