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Russia to supply RD-180 rocket engines to US in 2017

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos expects 30 RD-180 and 60 RD-181 engines to be sold abroad

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. The Russian Research and Production Association Energomash plans to deliver 19 rocket engines to the United States next year, Energomash CEO Igor Arbuzov told TASS on Thursday.

"During 2017, we plan the delivery of 11 RD-180 engines [for Atlas rockets] to United Launch Alliance (ULA) and eight RD-181 motors [for US carrier rockets Antares] to Orbital ATK," Arbuzov said.

"As for RD-191 engines [for Russian carrier rockets Angara], we’re now at the stage of discussions with the United Rocket and Space Corporation and the Khrunichev Center on the number of engines that will be ordered in 2017. I hope the delivery volumes will become understandable in the imminent future," the Energomash head said.

The program of engine deliveries will "somewhat expand" next year compared with the previous years, Arbuzov said.

"The enterprise has the required capacities to fulfil contractual obligations and is ready to implement them in full," the Energomash head said.

In accordance with the feasibility study of the federal space program for 2016-2025, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos expects 30 RD-180 and 60 RD-181 engines to be sold abroad.

The agreement between Moscow and Washington stipulating the delivery of 101 RD-180 rocket engines to the United States and estimated at about $1 billion was signed in 1997. About 18 months ago, the US Congress imposed a ban on the use of these engines after 2019 amid deteriorating relations with Russia but later lifted it when it became clear that the United States would be unable to develop engines of its own in the next three years.

Immediately after that, the ULA consortium ordered an additional 20 RD-180 engines from Energomash until 2020.

In December 2014, US Orbital Sciences Corporation agreed on buying eight RD-181 rocket engines from Energomash for Antares carrier rockets.