MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. Russia’s Energomash Research and Production Association (the manufacturer of space rocket engines) has transferred another batch of three RD-180 engines to the United States for their use on US Atlas launch vehicles, the Energomash press office reported on Monday.
"Three RD-180 engines have been delivered to the American customers. Representatives of Pratt&Whitney, United Launch Alliance and RD AMROSS have signed technical certificates on the engines," the press office said in a statement.
This has been the third acceptance since the beginning of the year, Energomash said. Four RD-180 engines were transferred to the US customers in April and four more in October, the statement says.
As NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier told TASS earlier, the US space agency intends to further use Russian-made RD-180 engines on its Atlas carrier rockets. He also said that US new Space Launch Systems were being designed for the use of NASA’s Space Shuttle engines.
Energomash delivers RD-180 engines for US Atlas III and Atlas V rockets. The first contract on RD-180s was concluded in 1997 and stipulated the delivery of 101 engines. The deal was estimated at about $1 billion.
In 2014, the US Congress imposed a ban on the use of RD-180 engines amid a deterioration of the relations with Russia but lifted it in 2015 when it became clear that the United States would be unable to produce its own engines in the next few years.
In 2016, the US placed an order with Energomash for an additional 18 RD-180 engines. It was reported earlier that Energomash had concluded a contract on the delivery of six RD-180 engines to the United States in 2020.