I've read an interesting article that mentions Michael Gass, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance (ULA), alluding to ULA innovations during the latest Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing at Capitol Hill this Wednesday, March 5, 2014:
Not surprisingly, Michael Gass, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, the company that up to now has been the sole provider of military Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle -- EELV -- rockets for national security payloads, disagreed, saying his company constantly innovates and that its Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets were the most reliable in the world.
The whole context is described in the linked to article, so I won't repeat what the purpose of that hearing was. But this statement does present an opportunity to discuss this here without being seen as argumentative. If Michael Gass believes that statement is good enough for the U.S. Senate hearing, and it shouldn't present an opportunity for Elon Musk to contest it in his comeback, surely there's ample proof supporting this assertion.
But, for the better of me, I can't think of a single substantial innovation on the part of ULA that isn't proprietary to Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the times before the merger / partnership. Unless Gass was alluding to some other than technological innovations? Thus my question:
What innovations was Michael Gass alluding to during his latest address to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee? Is there, from technological standpoint, any evidence that ULA is an innovative player in the space launch business?