WSJ: the Pentagon will have to continue to use Russian rocket engines

WSJ: the Pentagon will have to continue to use Russian rocket engines


WSJ: Пентагону придется продолжать пользоваться российскими ракетными двигателями

To develop new American rocket will take several more years, according to the Wall Street Journal

Technical and financial difficulties will force the Pentagon to rely on rocket engines of the Russian production at least until the middle of next decade, that is, several years longer than originally anticipated, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper writes that, despite the demands of the representatives of both parties in Congress for the speedy rejection of the RD-180 engines for national security reasons, to find an equally reliable replacement proved more difficult than expected by many legislators.

Representatives of government and industry officials say that the consortium of United Launch Alliance, a major supplier of missiles for the Pentagon probably will use was developed in the 1990-ies of the launch vehicle Atlas V, equipped with engines of Russian production, to 2024-2025 years.

Other informed sources admit that United Launch Alliance – a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing may extend the use of Russian engines until 2028, the newspaper said.

Chief of staff, U.S. air force General David Goldfein earlier this year, said lawmakers need to find a balance between the replacement of RD-180 engines “very soon” and other urgent, and sometimes conflicting priorities – the preservation of access to space and support competition between the organizers of the runs.

Currently, the Russian engines are used for orbit of most communications satellites and navigation satellites, the U.S. air force, writes the Wall Street Journal.

A joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin expects that testing of the new engine will be completed by 2019, and a new rocket ship Vulcan will be allowed to deliver cargo to the Pentagon to 2022-2023 year, the newspaper notes. But a spokesman for United Launch Alliance announced that the Atlas V rocket will be used and some time after that, at least “until mid-2020 years”, while Vulcan does not demonstrate its reliability.