The U.S. Department of defense has hopes to keep it competitive in the market launches of military satellites, despite the rejection of the use of the Russian RD-180 engines, but believes that it is possible temporary transition to a single contractor, said the official authorized office Courtney Hillson.
before the group United Launch Alliance (ULA) has applied to the Department of defense with a request to make concessions in the law on the prohibition of the use of Russian rocket engines RD-180, As this may deprive her of the right to participate in tenders for the right to launch military and intelligence satellites.
if the Department of defense in the near future will not facilitate the provision of the act, the Company will not be able to write a statement on the implementation of future runs in the opposite organization from SpaceX, which only recently received a certificate for the right to perform missions for the U.S. air force.
As reported in this regard, the official representative of the Pentagon Courtney Hillson, the Ministry wished to follow the retention policies of 2 organizations engaged in the service of space launches and the preservation of competition, most importantly, for maximum observation price starts. Along with this, in her expressions, if the ban on the use of Russian engines in effect, the Ministry considers it possible the possibility of providing several contracts for only one organization.
Responding to a query hillson the ULA stated that currently the U.S. defense Department sees no "immediate" need to provide such an exception (from the law) ", but " will continue to evaluate the need for this ".
last week, the head of ULA, Tory Bruno said that his company will not be able to participate in tenders for carrying out missions in the interests of national security without the easing of the ban on the purchase of RD-180. According to him, prohibiting the law deprived the company of the opportunity to receive 24 out of 29 of the Russian engines, the supply agreement which had been reached before. Five, transferred by contract to the RD-180, already painted for the coming launches.
Application for the 1st tender which ULA is afraid to give SpaceX, to launch navigation satellites GPS III will be held in November. Except for Atlas, ULA carries out launches on Delta launch vehicles, SpaceX uses the Falcon 9 LV.
The RD-180 used in the first stages of American rockets Atlas, and as long as the U.S. industry does not produce analogues.
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 John McCain, which envisages a complete refusal of the U.S. rocket engines RD-180 by 2019. An exception is made to contract by a consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin (ULA) with the Russian NGO "Energomash" until 2019. While stating that the Congress allocated $ 220 million for the development of new American engines.