The U.S. air force announced a competition for the development of rocket engines, which are obliged to replace the Russian RD-180, said Wednesday the head of the center space and missile systems air force Lieutenant General Samuel greaves.
The RD-180 used in the first stage of American Atlas missile and as long as the U.S. industry does not produce analogues.
according to the General, quoted, the program will be implemented in the context of public-private partnership. The government plans by September to sign contracts for $ 160 million with four contractors, who on their part will be required to seek at least thirty percent of the funds for the development of sample engine. Preliminary proposals must be submitted by June 23.
Among the main contenders for the development of the Agency called United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing), the SpaceX company and the company Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.
The chamber authorized the U.S. Congress in the early winter of 2014 in the form of anti-Russian measures on the events in Ukraine have accepted the amendment of Senator McCain, which involves a complete refusal of the U.S. rocket engines RD-180 to 2019. An exception is made to contract by a consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin (ULA) with Russian NPO "Energomash" until 2019. While stating that the Congress allocated $ 220 million for the development of new American engines.
in March, the US announced that it would hold a tender for space launches in connection with the planned abandonment of the Russian rocket engines RD-180. The competition will be conducted in 28 starts, which is expected to produce in the years 2020-2024.