The US Senate agreed: We are buying Russian rocket engines

The US Senate reached an agreement to purchase 18 RD-180 rocket engines, because US companies are not able to make a substitution before the year 2021.

The US Congress in 2014 passed a law that requires the US to gradually break its dependence on Russian rocket engines.

However, two years after putting a ban on the purchase of RD-180 engines, Congress was forced to lift the moratorium to allow the United States access to space.


The two largest US defense contractors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, use the RD-180 engine in their joint venture, the United Launch Alliance (ULA). The engine RD-180 are used for rocket "Atlas V", which the US Air Force used for the launch of its satellites, as well as for research programs of NASA.

The US Senate reached an agreement to purchase 18 RD-180 rocket engines, said Senator Richard Shelby.  

"We agreed on this issue. The agreement is valid until 2022 and includes 18 rocket engines",said Senator Richard Shelby.

The decision was preceded by a sharp debate on this issue between supporters and opponents of continuing the purchase.
 


Earlier, Senator John McCain proposed to stop purchasing Russian engine and accelerate the development of American analogues. Support his initiative was provided by Congress. However, delivery is included in the budget law, which expires in October 2016. 

In the opinion of supporters procurement RD-180, stop buying Russian engine will lead to a loss of one billion US dollars and jeopardize national security. In addition, US companies are not able to make a substitution before the year 2021. 

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