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Frank Calvelli: Fixed-Price Contracts Could Help Speed Up Acquisition Process

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Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisitions and integration, said one of the approaches he plans to borrow from the National Reconnaissance Office and apply to military space acquisitions is doing more fixed-price contracting to help reduce costs and keep acquisition programs on schedule, Government Executive reported Tuesday.

He said Friday at a virtual event that fixed-price contracts could also help accelerate the acquisition process.

“We want to go fast, which means if we’re smart, we use existing technology where we can, and take a page out of [the Space Development Agency’s] playbook, which is use what you can get and go off and build on to your centers,” said Calvelli, former principal deputy director and deputy acquisition executive at NRO.

“And so when you start using existing technology capabilities and you want to go fast, fixed price helps in that as opposed to cost plus,” he added.

Calvelli said he also plans to address the disconnect between space and ground systems and apply NRO’s techniques when it comes to cloud, mission applications, system engineering and mission frameworks.