Space Force lays out acquisitions reforms in new report

May 22, 2020


In a new proposal, the U.S. Space Force is asking Congress to overhaul the tools it uses to acquire new space systems, allowing the new service to move with more agility and keep pace with near-peer adversaries.

“Our nation requires a bold Alternative Space Acquisition System that not only matches the pace of change but also manages unpredictability and regularly disrupts our adversaries’ threat cadence,” the Department of the U.S. Air Force report concludes. “The features outlined in this report will create a new space acquisition approach for the USSF that is the envy of all other services and ultimately enables the USSF to rapidly leverage industry innovation to outpace space threats.”

When Congress passed legislation establishing the Space Force as the nation’s sixth branch of the armed services in December, it included a provision requiring the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a report by the end of March on whether the military should adopt an alternative space acquisition system. While the Pentagon did deliver a report to Congress in March, it largely kicked the can down the road on any specific acquisitions reforms. Space Force leadership have touted this more detailed acquisitions report as “groundbreaking” in recent appearances.

The new report, which was first reported by Bloomberg Government, includes nine specific proposals to improve Space Force contracting, although it doesn’t make any suggestions towards unifying the various organizations involved in purchasing space platforms and systems, such as the Space Development Agency, the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the Space and Missile Systems Center, or the National Reconnaissance Office, which purchases satellites for the intelligence community.

Click here for more.