Jeff Bezos' space startup to supply engines for Boeing-Lockheed rocket venture

Jeff Bezos can now add Pentagon satellite launches to his resume.

His Blue Origin space-transportation company has won a contract to provide engines for a potential rival's next-generation rocket, people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires.

An announcement is expected Thursday from United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin that launches U.S. military and spy satellites into orbit.

It has reportedly picked Blue Origin's BE-4 engine for its Vulcan rocket.

United Launch declined to comment.

Bezos, founder and chief executive of, has said he invests roughly $1 billion of his personal fortune into Blue Origin annually.

The long-term, potentially multibillion-dollar agreement could provide a boost to Blue Origin's eventual goal of becoming a major military launch provider itself.

The company plans to use the same engines to power its own launcher, called New Glenn, which is currently under development.

The Vulcan rocket's maiden flight is slated for 2020.

The engines would end the use of Russian-built RD-180 engines, which now provide primary propulsion on United Launch's workhorse Atlas V rockets, according to Dow Jones.