Author Topic: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)  (Read 108538 times)

Offline Jim

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So you're picking option 3, wait until Vulcan is ready.  Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest -- and there is no one to hold USAF accountable for the double standard.

What double standard?
The USAF wants a contractor that caters to its every needs, not one that only does things when it feels like it

Offline envy887

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Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.

Offline woods170

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Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.

Offline envy887

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Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.

Which Vulcan might not be make, if they need to use AR-1.

Offline woods170

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Does ULA get to bid Atlas V/RD-180 as a 'back-up' to Vulcan? 


yes.  I don't see what the issue is here
Congress might have an issue with that.
No they don't. Not until January 1st, 2023 that is.

Which Vulcan might not be make, if they need to use AR-1.
That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.

Offline envy887

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That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.

Or if BE-4 is delayed about a year in testing, which isn't all that unlikely a scenario.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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My point was how long Atlas V would remain flying. It is a clear representation of why ULA will go with the earliest available engine. Schedule is the most important factor. And the engine availability is driving the schedule. Until the Vulcan is certified to be able to be awarded DOD contracts the Atlas V must be an alternative in order for U:A to keep bidding and getting some flights from the DOD. Once Vulcan starts f;ying the CRS and CC flights would shift to it. ULA does not have to wait on certification for these programs. except for CC they need Human rating certification. HRC is done in parallel with development so not much delay after Vulcan is flying for CC use.

All of this is to show that the business case is all about the schedule and only marginally about the costs. If BE-4 is delayed and AR-1 breezes through it's development then the choice would be to use the AR-1. But we are several years from this point. At least 1 1/2 years beginning of 2019. If BE-4 is not starting into production then AR-1 could end being selected.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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That would only be the case if BE-4 never makes it off the test-stand. A highly unlikely scenario IMO.

Or if BE-4 is delayed about a year in testing, which isn't all that unlikely a scenario.

Both could take ... years. Or not.  But, it's quite a motivator for both that an indigenous 1MN FFSC HC has fired.

Online TrevorMonty

If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.

Offline woods170

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If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
Unlikely. OA NGLV is nothing but a Powerpoint rocket right now. At least for Vulcan they have begun to actually install tooling and performing first hardware production tests.

Offline envy887

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If Vulcan development slips it could lose the DOD market to OA NGLV and SpaceX. DOD only need two suppliers.
Unlikely. OA NGLV is nothing but a Powerpoint rocket right now. At least for Vulcan they have begun to actually install tooling and performing first hardware production tests.

Vulcan and NGL cores are about at the same status in terms of hardware, OATK has made some composite casings. However, even if Vulcan is delayed for AR-1, NGL won't have enough time to capture the market. It won't even have a test flight before 2020, which is around when a Vulcan with AR-1 could be flying.

Offline WindnWar

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My point was how long Atlas V would remain flying. It is a clear representation of why ULA will go with the earliest available engine. Schedule is the most important factor. And the engine availability is driving the schedule. Until the Vulcan is certified to be able to be awarded DOD contracts the Atlas V must be an alternative in order for U:A to keep bidding and getting some flights from the DOD. Once Vulcan starts f;ying the CRS and CC flights would shift to it. ULA does not have to wait on certification for these programs. except for CC they need Human rating certification. HRC is done in parallel with development so not much delay after Vulcan is flying for CC use.

All of this is to show that the business case is all about the schedule and only marginally about the costs. If BE-4 is delayed and AR-1 breezes through it's development then the choice would be to use the AR-1. But we are several years from this point. At least 1 1/2 years beginning of 2019. If BE-4 is not starting into production then AR-1 could end being selected.

The other factor in that schedule is that until Vulcan ACES starts flying they have to maintain Delta Heavy and set aside x number of cores for it, and those costs could easily end up quite a bit larger than the marginal cost difference between AR-1 and BE-4. Unless they change the plan of introducing Vulcan first and ACES later the first flight of Vulcan probably impacts the first flight of Vulcan ACES so the sooner its flying the sooner they can retire the assets of Delta Heavy and the costs associated with it.

Still requires AR-1 to either leapfrog BE-4 or BE-4 to suffer some major schedule delays.

Offline Chasm

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If ULA is waiting on an engine, any engine, perhaps it is time to accelerate ACES beyond what is public so far?

That would buy some additional time at the end of the development process when the heavy has to be replaced.
(Or maybe that is why there was a surge in ACES technology development.)

Offline Dante80

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ULA is getting an engine, one way of the other. Moreover, even if both engine programs fail (not that probable), DoD is not going to disqualify their most reliable LV solution because John McCain is hysterical about Putin. Atlas V will keep launching.

That scenario would be bad for ULA (as per Tory Brunos' testimony under oath, they need a more competitive LV when the DoD launch rate ramps down in the early 20s), but far from catastrophic.

Online gongora

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EELV cost discussion moved here: EELV Costs from Air Force FY2018 Budget

Online edkyle99

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Forbes take on this is that AR-1 funding was about to be - and maybe already had - stopped, until the BE-4 power pack blew up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2017/06/16/air-force-rethinks-military-space-plan-after-bezos-rocket-component-blows-up/#3aa3fe855fbf

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/17/2017 04:15 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Oh dear.  You're linking to Loren Thompson?  Not an authoritative source, by any means.
« Last Edit: 06/17/2017 05:15 PM by RedLineTrain »

Online edkyle99

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Oh dear.  You're linking to Loren Thompson?  Not an authoritative source, by any means.
Here's another source with a similar report.
http://aviationweek.com/space/usaf-keep-ar-1-work-going-amid-be-4-setback

 - Ed Kyle

Online Navier–Stokes

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New article from Jeff Foust of SpaceNews:
Blue Origin retains engine lead as House considers limitations on launch system funding
Quote
[A]t a briefing of staff members organized by the House Armed Services Committee June 23, an independent assessment prepared by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center reportedly confirmed that BE-4 maintained a major schedule advantage over the AR1 despite the testing setback.

“They are two years behind Blue Origin,” one meeting attendee, not authorized to speak on the record, said of the assessment’s conclusion about AR1. Another year would be needed to integrate the engine with a launch vehicle.

[...]The briefing attendee noted the NASA assessment’s concerns about the AR1 were focused on its schedule and cost, rather than its technical development.
Edit: cross-posted from BE-4 discussion as it is also relevant to AR-1.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2017 01:43 AM by Navier–Stokes »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
Published on 21 Jul 2017
AR1 preburner testing at NASA's Stennis Space Center

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