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ULA Signs Up Bollinger Shipyards to Design and Build Ship to Carry Vulcan Rockets

Construction has just begun on the 356-foot-long ship.

Screenshot 2024 05 14 At 9 04 57 Am
United Launch Alliance

ULA announced that it has signed agreements with Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana and Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. in Bristol, Rhode Island, to design, oversee and build a new ship to transport Vulcan rockets from the factory in Decatur, Alabama to the launch sites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

“We are pleased to be partnering with two of the best companies in the business to build our second transportation ship,” said Chris Ellerhorst, ULA’s vice president of the Kuiper Program. “Over the next year, ULA will be doubling its launch rate capacity in support of our Amazon customer and to ensure timely deliveries of the rockets to the launch site, we needed to build a second ship to support our transportation needs.”

ULA awarded Bollinger Shipyards a contract to build a second roll-on/roll-off vessel classed for both ocean-going and river service. Construction has just begun on the 356-foot-long ship at Bollinger’s shipyard located in Amelia, Louisiana with delivery to ULA expected in January 2026.

“ULA currently has its first ship called RocketShip that has been in service for decades and with this second ship called SpaceShip our maritime fleet will enable enterprise transportation capacity of four Vulcan launch vehicles across two voyages to either the East or West Coast,” said Ellerhorst.

In addition, ULA has also hired Bristol Harbor Group, Inc., a well-respected naval architecture and marine engineering firm to oversee the design and build phases of the project with Bollinger.

Vulcan is ULA’s next generation rocket, and it saw its successful inaugural launch in January 2024. Vulcan will provide high performance and affordability while continuing to deliver superior reliability and orbital precision for all our customers across the national security, civil and commercial markets.

For Amazon, ULA’s new Vulcan rocket is contracted for 38 launches to support the majority of the deployment for the Project Kuiper constellation, which will provide fast, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world.  All rockets are not created equal. ULA is the nation’s most experienced, reliable and accurate launch service provider delivering unmatched value, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary.

Vulcan’s inaugural launch marked the beginning of a new era of space capabilities and provides higher performance and greater affordability while offering the world’s only high energy architecture rocket to deliver any payload, at any time, to any orbit.

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