The Air Force awarded contracts worth $3.03 billion Friday to Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. to build the nation's next generation of military rockets and help put satellites in space at reduced cost.

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Under the program, Boeing, which assembles launchers in Huntington Beach, Calif., will conduct 19 launches and Lockheed Martin, whose main rocket plant is in Denver, will have nine, the Pentagon said in a statement.The program is dubbed the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, and it will replace the nation's current fleet of medium- and heavy-lift military launch systems - the Delta, Atlas and Titan - with two modular families of launch vehicles.

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