Author Topic: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares  (Read 69751 times)

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #20 on: 08/27/2013 06:33 PM »
Oh goodie, the prohibition on the sales of RD-180 was entered into official agenda of Security Council of Russian Federation.

  http://izvestia.ru/news/556096

In effect the space industry is being punished for the Magnitsky law.
They have all the necessary information and know-how to make those engine in the USA. Thus, to stop selling this engines would only strengthen the US industrial base and basically kill Energomash, since the RD-191 is outsourced to Polyot. I'm sure that this is pure scare politics. I've always admired the Russian scientists. In fact, the Russian economists have, basically, develop the whole mathematical tools of the science. And they are excellent. I just hope that the level of imbecility is not so high as to make an own goal like this.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #21 on: 08/27/2013 06:53 PM »
Oh goodie, the prohibition on the sales of RD-180 was entered into official agenda of Security Council of Russian Federation.

  http://izvestia.ru/news/556096

In effect the space industry is being punished for the Magnitsky law.
They have all the necessary information and know-how to make those engine in the USA. Thus, to stop selling this engines would only strengthen the US industrial base and basically kill Energomash, since the RD-191 is outsourced to Polyot. I'm sure that this is pure scare politics. I've always admired the Russian scientists. In fact, the Russian economists have, basically, develop the whole mathematical tools of the science. And they are excellent. I just hope that the level of imbecility is not so high as to make an own goal like this.

How much more expensive would it be to manufacture these engines in the US, ignoring the startup costs of course. If Energomash builds them for between 11-13 mil, can Aerojet Rocketdyne build them for less than 20 mil ? Especially if they allow Antares to share the same engine, Rocketdyne could be building almost 20 engines per year.

Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #22 on: 08/27/2013 07:09 PM »
I don't know, really. DoD does for sure, or at least has an excellent estimation. But if Russia stops selling them rockets, there's simply no choice. They either invest in an US built RD-180, or they accelerate the AJ-1E6. Either solution would be fine. They have engines for a further 20 or so launches, which is a four year margin. Probably enough to get the production up and ready. And in the worst case, they could move some payloads to Delta IV and extend their margin to six years.
Regarding the price, from a series of articles about how Energomash ended up selling engines under cost, I think that the main culprit was the RD-170 contract for Zenit-2, which ended up being fixed in Ukranian rubles, which had a serious devaluation. The USD also devalued a lot in real term. The Russians probably didn't expected the USD to be such a weak currency when they signed the original contract. And 900M down payment probably made them not to worry about the future that much. In fact, the total contract still has positive present value for Energomash, even selling under cost the next engines.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #23 on: 08/27/2013 07:09 PM »
How much more expensive would it be to manufacture these engines in the US, ignoring the startup costs of course. If Energomash builds them for between 11-13 mil, can Aerojet Rocketdyne build them for less than 20 mil ? Especially if they allow Antares to share the same engine, Rocketdyne could be building almost 20 engines per year.
Or the Pentagon could just buy Delta IV and Falcon 9 instead.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #24 on: 08/27/2013 07:24 PM »
Or the Pentagon could just buy Delta IV and Falcon 9 instead.

That much is obvious, the question for this thread is where it leaves Orbital, who even went to court over RD-180. Perhaps the whole issue wasn't worth suing. Also, their logic was that RD-180 "already had an export license". As it turns out that license wasn't worth much. Of course it's still better than nothing, which is what RD-0124 has.

There was a discussion of Antares engine options in Antares Development thread, where, I think the only two semi-viable options are AJ-500 and RD-809 (I may be mistaken about the designation, basically the Ukrainized RD-120K).

Offline zaitcev

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #25 on: 11/01/2013 04:50 AM »
http://izvestia.ru/news/559923#ixzz2jMKIgJrB

So, the new twist: a source in Ministery of Trade and Industry shares off the record that Security Council decided to consider continuing sales of RD-180 and the restart of NK-33 for export in the same framework. Also, the source of the friction is apparently in Ministery of Foreign Affairs, who is upset that some kind of deal was referred to U.S. State Department and wants to answer in kind. What a facepalm.

Online Salo

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #26 on: 11/01/2013 05:33 AM »
There was a discussion of Antares engine options in Antares Development thread, where, I think the only two semi-viable options are AJ-500 and RD-809 (I may be mistaken about the designation, basically the Ukrainized RD-120K).
RD-801.

Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #27 on: 11/01/2013 01:33 PM »
http://izvestia.ru/news/559923#ixzz2jMKIgJrB

So, the new twist: a source in Ministery of Trade and Industry shares off the record that Security Council decided to consider continuing sales of RD-180 and the restart of NK-33 for export in the same framework. Also, the source of the friction is apparently in Ministery of Foreign Affairs, who is upset that some kind of deal was referred to U.S. State Department and wants to answer in kind. What a facepalm.

My view is that they are playing a bad game.    One thing both USA political parties agree for the most part is "space" in general. 
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I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline USFdon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #28 on: 03/21/2014 12:35 AM »
Orbital Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against ULA

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39926orbital-drops-antitrust-lawsuit-against-ula

Quote
“The parties will now undertake to negotiate a business resolution for Orbital’s access to the RD-180 rocket engine, subject to all necessary approvals from the U.S. and Russian governments,” Orbital said in the filing. “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, Orbital will have the option to refile its lawsuit.”

A domestic RD-180 would be certainly be handy right now for both parties....

Offline edkyle99

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #29 on: 03/21/2014 01:42 AM »
Orbital Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against ULA

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39926orbital-drops-antitrust-lawsuit-against-ula

Quote
“The parties will now undertake to negotiate a business resolution for Orbital’s access to the RD-180 rocket engine, subject to all necessary approvals from the U.S. and Russian governments,” Orbital said in the filing. “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, Orbital will have the option to refile its lawsuit.”

A domestic RD-180 would be certainly be handy right now for both parties....
Can only wonder about who agreed to what, but it seemed that Orbital had a good case.  I agree that it should be good for both parties in the long run to share the engine, potentially cutting costs to both. 

This is a landmark.  It is likely the end for AJ-26/NK-33.  It may also determine whether Aerojet can finally buy into RD-AMROSS. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/21/2014 01:56 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline USFdon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #30 on: 03/21/2014 01:49 AM »
Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production by the various parties (ULA, now Orbital, Air Force and maybe Nasa?). This will be an interesting next couple of months for the US propulsion industry.

Offline Jim

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #31 on: 03/21/2014 03:02 AM »
Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production by the various parties (ULA, now Orbital, Air Force and maybe Nasa?). This will be an interesting next couple of months for the US propulsion industry.

It is not the USAF and NASA's job to pay the up front costs.

Offline sdsds

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #32 on: 03/21/2014 03:42 AM »
For the record:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/820736/000082073614000030/litigation8k.htm

Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production

That's fascinating speculation! But wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?
-- sdsds --

Offline rusty

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #33 on: 03/21/2014 08:30 AM »
wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?
Isn't domestic production a requirement of the Air Force's +1Mlb +300s hydrocarbon engine request?

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #34 on: 03/21/2014 12:52 PM »
Weren't the USAF specs for the next gen engine loosely based on the anticipated performance of the AJ-1E6 ?

Instead of investing half a billion or so in a production line for the RD-180, perhaps that money is better spent on completion of the replacement engine. Use the same engines for the next gen Atlas, Antares, and SLS advanced boosters. Sounds like a win-win.

Offline butters

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #35 on: 03/21/2014 02:52 PM »
It does not seem like a particularly good time for American launch providers to be arguing over access to Russian engines. Orbital and ULA should sit down with Aerojet-Rocketdyne and see about coming up with a common solution, however it's possible that Orbital would be pushed to the side if ULA will bear a higher price and consume more engines.

It's easy to see why an engine supplier might prefer to deal with ULA, which puts Orbital in a tricky position. They could try a considerably more risky and far-sighted approach like reaching out to XCOR, but they also have promising business coming their way courtesy of ULA. They'd probably have to offer Greason an exit with more cash than stock, and then they'd have to wait quite a long while to get up to speed on large booster engines.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2014 02:53 PM by butters »

Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #36 on: 03/22/2014 12:36 PM »
For the record:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/820736/000082073614000030/litigation8k.htm

Makes you wonder if forces are being set in motion to divvy up the startup costs for stateside production

That's fascinating speculation! But wouldn't it be simpler (and thus less costly) to increase production at Energomash to meet Orbital's needs?

You might be on to something.......maybe its a good idea to place increase the current order and see what Russia does?
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Offline Prober

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #37 on: 03/22/2014 12:41 PM »
Weren't the USAF specs for the next gen engine loosely based on the anticipated performance of the AJ-1E6 ?

Instead of investing half a billion or so in a production line for the RD-180, perhaps that money is better spent on completion of the replacement engine. Use the same engines for the next gen Atlas, Antares, and SLS advanced boosters. Sounds like a win-win.

Or maybe manufacture both the RD-180 and AJ-1E6.    This way we are not locked into one engine.   

Seem to remember Aerojet ( pre Rocketdyne) having an outside agreement with another firm for manufacture  the AJ-1E6
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Offline baldusi

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #38 on: 03/22/2014 11:12 PM »
Aerojet had an agreement with Teledyne to design the AJ-1E6's turbopump. And they had to demonstrate a nozzle for the SLS program.

Offline WulfTheSaxon

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Re: RD-180 vs RD-181 on Antares
« Reply #39 on: 03/22/2014 11:20 PM »
Or maybe manufacture both the RD-180 and AJ-1E6.    This way we are not locked into one engine.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just start making the AJ-1E6 ASAP, while there’s still a stockpile of RD-180s to fall back on during a hypothetical anomaly investigation? Manufacturing both domestically seems needlessly expensive.

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