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First two Russian RD-181 rocket engines delivered to US

August 04, 2015, 10:18 UTC+3
The first launch of the US Antares rocket with Russian-made RD-181 engines is scheduled for March 1, 2016
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RD-180 engines (archive)

RD-180 engines (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Filippov

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Russia has delivered to the United States the first two rocket engines RD-181 for the Antares carrier rocket under the contract signed previously.

"On July 15 the first two RD-181 engines were sent from Russia and delivered to the United States on July 16," the press service said. Before departure to the United States the engines underwent pre-delivery checkout and firing trials.

All in all, Russia plans to deliver four RD-181 engines to the United States this year, another four will be delivered in 2016.

According to previous reports, Russia’s Energomash Corporation plans to supply the new RD-181 rocket engines to the U.S.-based Orbital Sciences Corporation. The relevant contract was signed in January 2015. The agreement envisages restrictions on the use of the engines in military programs - rockets with the Russian-manufactured engines must not be used for military space missions.

All 60 Russian engines will cost the ordering party about $1 billion. This figure includes a whole array of services - flight training, installation of rocket engines and conducting trials.

The first blast off of the US Antares rocket with Russian-made RD-181 engines is scheduled for March 1, 2016. Earlier these rockets were equipped with the AJ-26 engines built on the basis of Soviet NK-33 engines.

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