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Rocket System Launch Program (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) is part of the Space and Missile Test and Evaluation Directorate (SMC/TE) located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The RSLP program is responsible for providing suborbital launch capability for various DoD, DOE, and NASA organizations. Primary customers are AF Space Command, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the United States Army Space and & Strategic Defense Command. Sounding rockets provide the majority of mission requirements. These boosters use excess ballistic missile assets, primarily Minuteman rocket motors. Minuteman II provides the ICBM class of suborbital mission launch vehicles, and are used as targets and experiment platforms to deliver targets for ballistic missile defense and new concepts in weapon systems development. Contracts are in place to provide flexible and cost effective conduits to meet short term, quick response mission requirements, typically within 12-18 months. The program provides full launch service capability including mission planning, booster refurbishment, range support, launch services, and post flight analysis.

Description (U):

(U) The RSLP charter comes from SECDEF memorandum, Support of Service Development Flight Test Requirement, dated 21 Aug 1972. In this memorandum, RSLP is designated as "A single Agency providing launch vehicle support for three services on a cost reimbursable basis." In addition to this charter, RSLP has received OSD approval to provide orbital launch with excess ballistic missile assets on a case-by-case basis with the approval by the Secretary of Defense.

(U) The RSLP receives its direction from the Silo-Based ICBM Integrated Weapon System Management Program Management Directive 2313(8), dated 26 March 1997. The direction comes from Appendix I: Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP). The specific management directs the RSLP to:

(U) 1. Review and disseminate government R&D flight test requirements. Prepare plans, agreements, and schedules with users to ensure timely integration and implementation.

(U) 2. Plan and conduct launch activities to support all government R&D flight tests on a cost reimbursable basis. Assist AFSPC with missile deactivation.

(U) a. Identify and provide AFSPC, AMC, PACAF, and SAF/AQ with RSLP flight test support requirements. Identify costs to the user and ensure agreement on costs requiring reimbursement. Provide supplemental storage requirement for flight test material at non-AFMC facilities.

(U) b. Research develop, test, acquire, store, refurbish and maintain test vehicles, motors, and components. Investigate alternative, cost-effective test launch vehicles to meet projected user requirements.

(U) c. Provide SMC/CC, AFSPC/DRM, SAF/AQS, and AF/XON all flight and program schedules, facility status, and abbreviated flight test program objectives and results.

(U) 3. Dismantle and destroy foreign (on a cost reimbursable basis) and domestic ballistic missiles. If necessary, make provisions for selected government to witness. Establish memoranda of agreement with all organizations providing technical support.

(U) 4. Comply with arms control regulations throughout activities involving treaty accountable assets.

User Impact (U):

(U) The Rocket System Launch Program (RSLP) provides flight test mission integration, program management and other support to include transportation, storage, refurbishment and launch of excess missile assets to support national R&D objectives on a cost reimbursable basis.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
Space Test ProgramSpace Test Program
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Launch VehiclesLaunch Vehicles
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

SMC-Fact Sheets
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

(U) DoD: USD (A&T) and OASD(C3I), Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Service Staff: SAF/AQS, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: AFMC/SMC, Los Angeles AFB, CA
(U) Program Management: SMC/TE, Kirtland AFB NM

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Lt Col William Owens, SMC, Open Phone: DSN 246-8184.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 August 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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