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The Security Council of Russia approved the resuming of deliveries of NK-33 engines to USA
Russian Aviaton » Friday February 21, 2014 14:19 MSK

The Security Council of Russia approved the resuming of deliveries of NK-33 engines to USA. The engines will be installed on Antares launch vehicle, Izvestiya reports.

According to a source close to the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was against the resuming of deliveries of NK-33 engines to USA and the Ministry of Defense supported its position. «The Vice Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, supported the resuming of deliveries of NK-33 engines, because this export program will help renew the production of NK-33 engines at Kuznetsov enterprise», — he said. — Roscosmos is also interested in this program because Soyuz 2.1v will be powered by NK-33 engines. However, at present the Federal Space Agency is ready to purchase only a few engines of the type. It is not enough for resuming the serial production of NK-33. At the same time the manufacturer of Antares launch vehicle (Orbital Corporation) guaranteed the purchase of 20 engines of the type».

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According to United Engine Corporation (UEC) “the resuming of export will help intensify the resuming of serial production of NK-33. There are two key areas in the network of this project. The first one – the contract with Aerojet Rocketdyne (the program for launching the medium capacity launch vehicles Antares). The second one – the national project implemented by GNPRKTs “TsKB-Progress” for launching the light launch vehicles Soyuz 2.1v. The minimum amount of investments required for resuming the production of NK-33 is 1 billion rubles.

According to a source close to the Federal Space Agency, the resuming of deliveries of another Russian-produced engine – RD-180 was not considered at the meeting of the Security Council. «Possibly, the resuming of deliveries of NK-33 may be considered as a green light for RD-180 export program, since the critical decision on resuming the export of Russian-produced rocket engines to USA has already been taken», — the source noted.

According to some sources, members of UEC met with the Orbital’s representatives in Washington in early February. At that the American party wanted Russia to take a decision on NK-33 deliveries in two months. Otherwise, Orbital will not be cooperating with Russian suppliers anymore; instead it will start considering alternatives.

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