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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.