Author Topic: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1 (aka AJ-1E6)  (Read 92708 times)

Offline Prober

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #20 on: 06/18/2014 01:55 PM »
If this comes to fruition, and SLS sticks around, might be a good replacement for when the RS25D's run out even though they would need to switch fuels... I would think using an existing engine vs developing an expendable RS-25 might make up for the switch.
This would not work, for a number of reasons.  SLS is designed around a high-ISP sustainer core that burns nearly all the way to orbit, like STS.  A core of that size filled with RP/LOX would weigh massively more than a core filled with LH2/LOX, so an entirely new stage would need to be designed.  Five segment booster would not match well, if at all, with an RP core.  The upper stage would need to do more delta-v work, which would require it to be heavier, which would require J-2X rather than RL10.  And so on. 

On an HLLV, high thrust RP would serve best on a Saturn V type serial stager (which isn't happening) or on boosters for an LH2 core (which also apparently is not going to happen).  Otherwise, this is an engine that might serve Atlas 5 and/or Antares.

 - Ed Kyle

Ed SLS in its current design is a dead end.  The RS25D no longer works for the design IMHO.   The killer is the cost to convert the RS25D to expendable.   I no longer have faith Rocketdyne can do this on the cheap.  Its the same mistake we made with the J2-X, and we find we are off and designing a new engine.

Factor in a new booster engine for SLS that makes 2 new engines.  Then add in an RD-180 replacement if Aero Rocketdyne gets the contract.  That would make 3 new engine designs or redesigns.

When you look at the big picture things look a lot different.

You might want to move this to a new thread.

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Online edkyle99

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #21 on: 06/18/2014 02:04 PM »
Factor in a new booster engine for SLS that makes 2 new engines.  Then add in an RD-180 replacement if Aero Rocketdyne gets the contract.  That would make 3 new engine designs or redesigns.
Forget the idea of AR-1 being used for an SLS booster.  Even Aerojet Rocketdyne did not mention SLS as a possible user of the proposed engine (there's a reason).  This engine is squarely aimed at Atlas 5 and maybe Antares.  Other SLS discussion belongs on the SLS Discussion thread.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/18/2014 02:04 PM by edkyle99 »

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #22 on: 06/18/2014 06:12 PM »
From other thread ...

Hmmm...

Quote
GenCorp’s New-Rocket Plan Raises Questions
http://aviationweek.com/space/opinion-gencorp-s-new-rocket-plan-raises-questions

Related?

For those of us not keeping notes, GenCorp currently owns Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
This was about Aerojet-Rocketdyne's AR-1 proposal, which was in the news a couple weeks ago.  Clearly this company will be proposing something for Atlas 5 - something that it has been working on for awhile now.

Northrop Grumman is another name mentioned as a potential bidder.  And why not United Technologies, which still owns its share of RD-AMROSS/RD-180?  SpaceX maybe, but it has its own conflict of interest and is just getting started in staged combustion R&D.  Can non-U.S. companies be ruled out?

 - Ed Kyle

 
Good article that frames the issue as investing in launch services verses in engines as a part of launch services.

When I talk to others in the area I get two opinions - one based on resultant service used, and the other on continuity of status quo.

Another issue I hear frequently mentioned is that hydrocarbon boost experience depends not just on corporate history but actual production. And the issue of justifying volume of consumption that triggered the RD-180 purchase in the first place, where there were current and future vehicles using the engine family.

Drawing a similarity from another area, Boeing and SpaceX compete on capsules right now. Boeing has greater history and capacity as a huge prime, while SpaceX has more immediate flight history and more "skin in the game" according to NASA.

Similarly, the only hydrocarbon experience non-Russian is SpaceX, since RS-27 has been forgone, and the huge amount of hydrolox work, underwritten by RS-25/J2X contracts is unsuitable for a low cost hydrocarbon engine. Also, expectation of use here might include OrbATK, but conceivably they could go another way as well (solids or other liquid propulsion), as opposed to  the 70 or so engines consumed so far by SpaceX.

As pointed out by the article, the significance of re-usability cannot be ignored given the legacies of two prior programs that were not followed through on. The writer comes up to the edge of implying (but not saying) that follow on didn't happen because of industry influence against RLV, possibly protectionist. Given Senator Shelby's blatant protectionist stand already under the watchful eye of a federal judge with more than good reason, this is no mere minor issue.

Should SpaceX re-usability bear economic fruit, history would record an engine award to a non practising engine company as b latent protectionism and potential corrupt practice,  irrespective of the facts of the matter. Such is the eye of history in such matters. It would be devastating for the industry and another arms scandal in the making. So the optics of what is going on here is extremely important, which is why AeroJet Rocketdyne (AR) did such a careful PR release.

Yet note:
Quote
... one of Seymour’s executives thought I was criticizing SpaceX when I called the Merlin “the world’s best-built V-2 engine,” but I wasn’t. The KISS principle (“keep it simple, stupid”) is most applicable to space launch.
AR clearly misunderstands the situation. Given Sowers own comments regarding SpaceX to,  it would seem they are blind to the peril of overcommitting to the wrong issue here. Clearly AR and ULA only think speaking to those of the " continuity of status quo" opinion I mentioned earlier are the ones that matter. This is a mistake.

And:
Quote
If big U.S. government money is going to be spent on space launch, and if SpaceX can provide an “assured access” backup, why not spend it on reusability—the only strategy that promises dramatically lower costs. The X-33 did not fail, and the shuttle did not miss its economic goals by a parsec or two, because reusability is a bad idea: Lousy requirements did it for them both. A modern, intelligently sized two-stage reusable system is like G.K. Chesterton’s view of Christianity:  It “has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” It’s time to change that.
The writer clearly agrees that the blindness here is an issue. And that those of the "resultant service used" opinion matter more, as it relates to a national imperative of decades ago.

I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
« Last Edit: 06/18/2014 06:13 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Online edkyle99

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #23 on: 06/18/2014 11:31 PM »
I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
You are forgetting that Aerojet Rocketdyne is Aerojet AND Rocketdyne (and Pratt & Whitney rocket engines).  Rocketdyne delivered its last RS-27A several years ago, but Aerojet has been wrestling daily with NK-33 to AJ-26 conversion and testing for a few years now.  I don't think that you burn and blow up these rocket engines (both have now happened at Stennis) without learning something.  In addition, both companies were (and Aerojet Rocketdyne still is) involved in the USAF Hydrocarbon Boost R&D effort, which includes building and testing technology demonstrator staged combustion elements at Edwards.  http://www.rocket.com/hydrocarbon-boost-hcb

Nor is there is a guarantee that Aerojet Rocketdyne would win an RD-180 replacement competition.  There are other companies in the U.S., including SpaceX, who can develop turbomachinery, etc..

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/18/2014 11:39 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #24 on: 06/20/2014 12:07 AM »
I predict that a long, disingenuous RD-180 program that indirectly costs government a fraction of a billion dollars and slips long term might be unwise, with the unstated "failover" back to Russian sourcing as an option through RD AMROSS. As we'd pay for AR/other to "relearn" kerolox, much like paying MSFC to "relearn" LV construction like starting with Ares IX.

A bridge too far?

Is there a better alternative here?
You are forgetting that Aerojet Rocketdyne is Aerojet AND Rocketdyne (and Pratt & Whitney rocket engines).
Hardly. ORSC with high chamber pressure is a whole higher level above. RS-27 et al were incremental improvements.

Rocketdyne delivered its last RS-27A several years ago, but Aerojet has been wrestling daily with NK-33 to AJ-26 conversion and testing for a few years now.  I don't think that you burn and blow up these rocket engines (both have now happened at Stennis) without learning something. 
Not my point.

You can't learn except by building, testing, revising, and testing again. You constantly do this, even when pushing out engines for launch. If you don't have multiple consumers for engines, you don't have enough flight/test history to accurately assess engine performance and quality.

You got that with the Russians, which is why there is a RD-180 on Atlas in the first place.

I suppose you might get that out of a SpaceX with Merlin/Raptor.

Theoretically you maybe get that out of AR-1 used by OrbATK and ULA. Barely with volume.

We don't trust "maybe's" with launch vehicles like Atlas.

Give me solid options for a solid need.
In addition, both companies were (and Aerojet Rocketdyne still is) involved in the USAF Hydrocarbon Boost R&D effort, which includes building and testing technology demonstrator staged combustion elements at Edwards.  http://www.rocket.com/hydrocarbon-boost-hcb
Great so they play around with vaguely funded research projects, which often devolve to paper studies. Really loove those paper engines... C'mon, these mean little to actual engines you made yourself chuffing on the test stand and you're sweating out the "why" so you can tweak things to meet deadline for an actual vehicle.

Nor is there is a guarantee that Aerojet Rocketdyne would win an RD-180 replacement competition.  There are other companies in the U.S., including SpaceX, who can develop turbomachinery, etc..
Sure. But that might be hard for proud engineer executives at ULA to do. I have seen avoidance of this kind before. My principle fear is the "head fake" decision that's not a real decision, but a diversion to buy time.

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.
I've heard from Russian's that weren't happy with any US launched sats period - they wanted the launch services contracts themselves :)

There never was a honeymoon. America always gets the Russian's wrong. They see it as occasional alliances. When it suits.

This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few. Entirely predictable. Still is. Why imagine anything else.

Never push a too good deal too far. It'll bite you. Bit.

Online EE Scott

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #25 on: 06/20/2014 12:33 AM »
…snip...

Given the political threats and the now-obvious end of the Post-Cold-War honeymoon, I suspect that Russia is now very much dead to the Pentagon as a long-term engine source.  And, let's face it, there were voices inside Russia that weren't happy with RD-180 boosting U.S. defense satellites.  Replacing RD-180 eliminates the type of uncertainty that the Pentagon won't allow long-term.

 - Ed Kyle

Agreed.  This is relatively exciting time, with lots of question marks about how this could play out. It appears that either ULA LV could be in play from a sustainability standpoint, and it gives a chance for companies such as Aerojet to seize the opportunity to make their pitch for a new engine. I'm a big fan of the RD-180, but sadly its time could be over soon.
« Last Edit: 06/20/2014 12:34 AM by EE Scott »
Scott

Offline Antares

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #26 on: 06/20/2014 06:04 AM »
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost and kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Online AncientU

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #27 on: 06/20/2014 03:11 PM »
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost and kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.

But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #28 on: 06/20/2014 03:38 PM »


But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.

What are the 15 or so on US soil?

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #29 on: 06/20/2014 04:24 PM »

What are the 15 or so on US soil?

Paper weights until flown ;)
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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #30 on: 06/20/2014 05:49 PM »


But nobody did that. Risk management this is not... it's whistling past the graveyard.

What are the 15 or so on US soil?
They have been systematically buying less than using per year, and not invested on an US replacement. They had enough to do a comfortable transition and now it would generate some clear inconvenience. Now, tell me they have ordered a DIV M(4,4), (5,6) and (5,8) and they might have a reasonable transition strategy, but still less than comfortable given the lead times. Or really surprise me and tell me they have a lot of confidence on the Falcon Heavy :-p

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #31 on: 06/20/2014 06:55 PM »
This whole situation was due to the rose colored glasses of a few.

Not even.  It's called risk management.
Yes and no.

In evolving Atlas, yes it was a good decision. A state of the art engine to continue a kerolox booster vehicle refining the state of the art. I'll even go further and say that continuing through to Atlas V development and qualification it may have even been brilliant given the time and its issues. One was able to shed a lot of the bad of the past, and focus on the best state of the art then.

Even good when Atlas initially lost the EELV competition to Boeing, because LockMart didn't need to go out of pocket for something that they were rightfully wary about. I'll even grant a few years following the reversal of the award of launches to Delta IV, and the onramping of Atlas V. But that's as far as I'll go.

  Stockpile engines over here, with a supply long enough to get a domestic one developed.  The same amount of money would be spent on development then or now.
If true the stockpile would have needed to address about 5 years of lag to phase in a new engine. Also, where was the second consumer of the same engine? I suppose one could sell them back to the Russians, if they'd buy such ...

Never was the stockpile that high. The original idea was NK-33's/AJ-26's and likely the same situation faced by OrbATK right now ... what to do when the stockpile ran out.

For a solid strategy one needs to build and test engines. You may still do this over many years, possibly a decade, but you don't sit on your hands and stare at test/performance results and go, "gee, what makes this one spike at this point, and this other one fall off in chamber pressure at this point". It's impossible to practice your profession as a passive observer, still less become a world leader in propulsion necessary to catch up with 20 years of change.

  Keeping them built in Russia minimized cost ...
This worked too good. My issue is complacency. And allowing yourself to get "owned".

... kept Russian aerospace workers occupied launching stuff for us rather than the Iranians or NorKs.
Oversold at best. What was to keep them from doing both?

Also, the first rocket technology always has been hypers for the third world. And solids in other cases. China is only now getting to kerolox. India had its first hydrolox indigenous this year, with tons of help from Russia with KVD.

Horse hockey.

I might also go on that I believe Energomash got/gets a lot out of having the US as a customer beyond just cash. They get more flight experience applicable to those engine families, and in an environment they otherwise would never have access to. As a result they build much better engines.

The real sticking point has always been the low launch rate in the US, and the lack of strategy that allows for enough engine consumption. There's never been an answer to this. Delta IV/RS-68 was done in the economic shadow of Shuttle, riding the hydrolox future that never developed.

When it became clear that Delta IV pad processing improvements weren't worth doing, Delta IV "assurance" became a joke that kept increasing, massively so post Shuttle. One needed to deal with the issue then. And not minimax pseudo risk strategies that subsequently cause the potential for cost escalation - see example with RS-68/SSME codependance.

The rose colored glasses are about the bigger picture of managing the entire national launch policy. Sliced and diceable many different ways. I'm not saying anything you haven't heard already a dozen times or so.

Are we going to deal with it now, or play another series of "fan dances"? When I read the above mentioned articles, I don't get a solid solution spoken of with words ringing out.

Offline Sean Lynch

From Marcia Smith;
(I like the way Martia explains space policy).

House Approves RD-180 Replacement Appropriation As U.S. Readies More Russia Sanctions

Quote from: Spacepolicyonline
The House passed the FY2015 defense appropriations bill today (June 20) with the $220 million added to begin building a replacement for Russia's RD-180 rocket engines intact.  Also today, the Obama Administration imposed sanctions against seven Ukrainians and, along with Europe, is readying other sanctions aimed at specific Russian economic sectors including defense.
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Offline Lobo

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #33 on: 06/23/2014 05:30 PM »
From Marcia Smith;
(I like the way Martia explains space policy).

House Approves RD-180 Replacement Appropriation As U.S. Readies More Russia Sanctions

Quote from: Spacepolicyonline
The House passed the FY2015 defense appropriations bill today (June 20) with the $220 million added to begin building a replacement for Russia's RD-180 rocket engines intact.  Also today, the Obama Administration imposed sanctions against seven Ukrainians and, along with Europe, is readying other sanctions aimed at specific Russian economic sectors including defense.

Sounds like this will be in the works then.  It also says ULA insists that it is "business as usual" with Energomash.  So a question.  If there never actaully is a cut off of Russian engines to the US, and AJR goes ahead and develops a US version of it, will ULA be compelled to switch to it by USAF?  Or can they keep using Russian engines if they want?

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Re: Aerojet Rocketdyne's proposed RD-180 replacement - the AR-1
« Reply #34 on: 06/23/2014 07:11 PM »
If the Senate Bill prohibiting engines eventually goes through then you'd think they would have to.

But could this just be a study? Or feasibility? Test program alone would consume a fair fraction of this?

And legislation this early is no sure thing. Biggist issue is volume - where's a confirm of a second LV using same engine?

Seems too vapid at the moment. Perhaps intentionally so for diplomatic optics?

Offline Sean Lynch

ULA is pursuing internal development by approaching non-disclosed engine developers.
There is a clever reason for not disclosing potential developers and making confidential agreements.
If public funding for engine development ever makes it through the political process ULA would take a real PR hit if seen reaching for those funds.
But a small firm, say in Milwaukee, reaching for the funds - no prob, just a fortunate coincidence.
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Offline Sean Lynch

Don't know how I missed this:

June 20, 2014
The Honorable Frank Kendall
Under Secretary of Defense
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
3010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-3010

 

Dear Under Secretary Kendall:

I write to you in furtherance of my continuing oversight interest in the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program and concern about that program’s reliance on Russian sources of supply for the RD-180 engine and to follow-up on the June 10, 2014, letter I received from Secretary of the Air Force James on that issue.

Today, I inquire about the circumstances under which the Air Force has acquired, and may continue to acquire, the RD-180.  Also, given the possibility that the Air Force is paying for these engines at highly inflated prices, I am inquiring whether the actual costs associated with their manufacture, which may be baked into those prices, are fair and reasonable—despite that the Air Force is buying them on a firm fixed-price basis.

I am, in particular, interested in learning more about a company called RD Amross, the company from which United Launch Alliance (ULA) actually buys the RD-180 for use in EELV missions.  It appears that RD Amross is a joint venture between P&W Power Generation Inc. and International Space Engines, Inc., a Delaware-registered subsidiary of the engine’s Russian manufacturer NPO Energomash.

Very little information is publically available on the actual costs to build the Russian RD-180 engine compared to what ULA pays for them.  But, I am aware of claims that the engines have been sold by NPO Energomash to RD Amross at a much lower price than RD Amross charges ULA for them.

Such information is particularly troubling given that, by reputation and recent examination by, among others, the World Bank and the Center for International Private Enterprise, the Russian procurement process is rife with inefficiency and corruption that benefits insiders while boosting retail prices.

Given the foregoing and the opacity of costs associated with the procurement of the RD-180, it is important for the Air Force to establish affirmatively the fairness and reasonableness of how much it (and therefore the U.S. taxpayer) is paying for the RD-180—despite the fact that it procures the RD-180 under a firm fixed-price contract line item.   

As you know, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed, as part of the Fiscal Year 15 National Defense Authorization Act, measures that would (1) prohibit the Department of Defense from entering into a new contract or renewing a current contract for space launch supplies, including rocket engines, if they would be provided by Russian suppliers, and (2) provide $100 million in funding transfer authority for the development of a domestically produced rocket for the EELV program. However, Congress ultimately needs to know more about circumstances under which the Air Force has acquired, and may continue to acquire, the RD-180 to make related policy decisions on a fully informed basis.

In order to address this important issue, please provide responses to the following questions:

1.         Please explain in detail how the RD-180 is procured in support of the EELV program—with references to NPO Energomash and RD Amross as relevant.

2.         Please describe to the best of your knowledge the business organizational structure of RD Amross, including identifying all nominal and beneficial owners of that company, as well as the owners (nominal and beneficial) of International Space Engines, Inc.

3.         Given that RD Amross does not directly produce the RD-180 engines ultimately used by ULA, what do you understand RD Amross’s business purpose to be and what value, if any, does it provide in connection with the manufacture of the RD-180?

4.         Please explain the extent to which the Air Force, i.e., the U.S. taxpayer, pays for any service or product supplied by RD Amross—independent of NPO Energomash—in connection with the Air Force’s purchase of rocket cores, which includes the RD-180, from ULA?

5.         For how much does NPO Energomash sell the RD-180 to RD Amross?  For how much does RD Amross subsequently sell the RD-180 to ULA?  For how much does ULA sell the RD-180 to the Air Force?

6.         On information and belief, ULA—and ultimately the Air Force—buys the RD-180 for a price that is significantly more than how much NPO Energomash sells that same engine to RD Amross, resulting in the U.S. taxpayer essentially giving a Russian company a profit by perhaps more than 200 percent.  Is this allegation accurate?  Please explain your answer and, if the claim I cite is accurate, tell me if this is (a) a reasonable rate of return and (b) in line with what may be payable under applicable DOD procurement rules and regulations for procurement contracts of this type.

7.         Of the cost that ULA pays RD Amross for the RD-180, how much is paid to P&W Power Generation Inc. and NPO Energomash’s subsidiary International Space Engines Inc. in their capacities as co-owners of RD Amross?  In other words, for whom do the profits (the difference between RD Amross’ costs and its sales price to ULA) accrue—P&W Power Generation Inc., International Space Engines, Inc., or others?

8.         On June 16, 2014, ULA announced its interest in producing a domestically-produced version the RD-180 or an entirely new launch system.  According to its press release, ULA signed contracts with multiple domestic companies to “conduct technical feasibility analysis, develop high fidelity [sic] plans, identify schedule, cost and technical risks, as well as cost estimates to meet aggressive recurring cost targets” for the next generation first stage rocket replacement to support a first launch by 2019.  What identified, approved and validated operational requirements, if any, support the development of an entirely new engine for the EELV program?

9.         RD Amross CEO Bill Parsons stated in a November 18, 2013, interview with Space News that a domestically-produced RD-180 “would definitely increase the price significantly”.  What is the Department of Defense’s current preliminary estimate of how much it would cost to develop a domestically-produced RD-180 and, separately, an entirely new engine for the EELV program?   


Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  If you have any questions or concerns, please have your staff contact Jack Thorlin, Counsel to the Minority, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, at (202) 224-2224.

Sincerely,
John McCain
Ranking Minority Member
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
"Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others."
-JFK May 25, 1961

Online Space Ghost 1962

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E.g. a paper study. Just what we need. So thrilling ...

Offline quanthasaquality

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For an SLS booster, the Merlin 1D will win on cost, and it is shared with an existing, low cost rocket. For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas. The Delta IV is proven, why bother with a new and untested rocket?

I would like to see America figure out how to develop a hydrocarbon (not methane), staged combustion engine. I don't think such an engine would be useful now, but the knowledge gained might be useful in the future.

Offline MP99

For an SLS booster, the Merlin 1D will win on cost, and it is shared with an existing, low cost rocket. For an EELV engine, the AR-1 will have to fly enough times to prove its reliability. The Atlas V will have to be redesigned, and flown a number of times to prove the reliability of the redesigned Atlas. The Delta IV is proven, why bother with a new and untested rocket?

I would like to see America figure out how to develop a hydrocarbon (not methane), staged combustion engine. I don't think such an engine would be useful now, but the knowledge gained might be useful in the future.
See the HCB programme.

Cheers, Martin

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