ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno Participates in Roundtable for the U.S. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party

April 17, 2024

Bruno’s Provides Key Recommendations to Protect U.S. Defense Industry from Chinese Interests

Washington, D.C., April 17, 2024 – Today, United Launch Alliance (ULA) President and CEO Tory Bruno spoke to the U.S. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party regarding the concerns with Chinese investment in its strategic programs including space power and exponential growth in its space programs, as well as its economic strategy to infiltrate U.S. defense contractors.

The United States of America is the world’s dominant space power, but America is now once again engaged in a new race in space, but this time with the People’s Republic of China who is very determined to replace America as the dominant space power.”

Bruno testified to the scope of Chinese investment in space, “At the turn of the century while America engaged in the Global War on Terror, China focused on investing in its strategic programs including space power and created exponential growth in its space programs. According to a Bloomberg news report, China had around 650 space vehicles on orbit at the end of 2022. They currently have over twelve micro-launchers with more in development, as well as six small-to-medium class launchers, seven intermediate-to-heavy launch vehicles with support from four fixed launch sites, and one ocean-based barge launch site.”

China is aggressively investing and engaging in espionage to become the leader in space by a stated goal of 2045. To leapfrog China, Bruno provided multiple recommendations to the Committee that the U.S. Government must consider when developing its strategy.

  • Advance a space strategy that focuses on an integrated deterrence by imposing a cost imposition and the denial of benefits from China’s space assets.
  • Improve resiliency to prevent a “knock-out-punch” opportunity, providing for the rapid reconstitution of damaged assets faster than the adversary can exploit their loss, and limit the adversary’s access to on orbit assets.
  • Welcome new ideas and commercially developed technology to deter an adversary in space.
  • Continue to maintain its Assured Access to Space policy.
  • Maintain America’s superiority in space by ensuring protection of the supply chains and from foreign investments in American companies that contract with the Department of Defense.

As for the challenge of Chinese investments into contracting space companies, the Committee on Foreign Investments in U.S. (CFIUS) could provide more capability in thwarting such influence.

These discussions are critical and timely and important for our leaders to be dedicated and determined to ensure America remains the leader in space.

Bruno was called to testify to the committee to share his more than 35 years of experience in the development and fielding of dozens of critical defense and space launch systems and his deep history in missile defense, strategic deterrence, and space launch.

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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Jessica Rye, (321) 730-5646 (Office), (321) 693-6250 (Cell) jessica.f.rye@ulalaunch.com