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USA to purchase Russia's Energomash rocket engines after 2016

May 15, 2014, 18:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Orbital Science’s technical specialists will visit Energomash next week to negotiate RD-181 purchases
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Energomash rocket engine (archive)

Energomash rocket engine (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Filippov

MOSCOW, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Energomash is going to export new rocket engines RD-181 for Antares launch systems to the US after 2016, the manufacturer’s executive director Vladimir Solntsev told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“The engine has been successfully test-fired. This is the first-stage engine — two engines are installed in the rocket’s rear end,” he said.

To equip the rocket’s first stage, Antares manufacturer Orbital Science purchased NK-33 engines from Russia's Kuznetsov company. The engines will end by 2016 and then be replaced by RD-181.

RD-181 advantage over NK-33 is its stronger capacity, so that Antares will be able to bring to the orbit a heavier payload. Furthermore, the Energomash engines will be supplied off-the-shelf.

The company would also offer the engine to other countries, as there was strong demand, said Solntsev.

Orbital Science’s technical specialists will visit Energomash next week to negotiate RD-181 purchases.

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