Author Topic: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US  (Read 233103 times)

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #640 on: 12/05/2014 02:07 AM »

No, messing with the issue will create problems.  Remember this is Congress making this call.  The US state Dept might wish to go another way.  Cash in the end might still be the driver.

What problems? ULA has already committed to the BE-4 and a major redesign of their entire architecture. I don't see how this changes anything. ULA was already on course to abandon the RD-180 ASAP. This is just Congress feebly threatening to close the barn door after the horse has already bolted. And if the Air Force asks nicely (waiver request), they won't even try to close the door.

Offline Jim

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #641 on: 12/05/2014 11:52 AM »

No, messing with the issue will create problems.  Remember this is Congress making this call.  The US state Dept might wish to go another way.  Cash in the end might still be the driver.


Wrong, it is business usual.  ULA will use RD-180 until the BE-4 transition.  There won't be any missions delayed or moved to other vehicles.

Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #642 on: 12/06/2014 05:24 PM »
Wrong, it is business usual.  ULA will use RD-180 until the BE-4 transition.  There won't be any missions delayed or moved to other vehicles.
I did get the pretty strong sense that stakeholders in these launches wouldn't regard going cold turkey on RD-180 as the preferred option.

Online Brovane

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #643 on: 12/13/2014 05:58 PM »
Wrong, it is business usual.  ULA will use RD-180 until the BE-4 transition.  There won't be any missions delayed or moved to other vehicles.
I did get the pretty strong sense that stakeholders in these launches wouldn't regard going cold turkey on RD-180 as the preferred option.

Doesn't ULA have a stockpile of RD-180 engines?  So even if future purchases are canceled they could still bridge the gap until the new engine is online by using the RD-180 engines in storage? 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #644 on: 12/13/2014 06:02 PM »
Wrong, it is business usual.  ULA will use RD-180 until the BE-4 transition.  There won't be any missions delayed or moved to other vehicles.
I did get the pretty strong sense that stakeholders in these launches wouldn't regard going cold turkey on RD-180 as the preferred option.

Doesn't ULA have a stockpile of RD-180 engines?  So even if future purchases are canceled they could still bridge the gap until the new engine is online by using the RD-180 engines in storage? 

Stockpile? Yes. 4-5 year stockpile? Not really.

Offline ngilmore

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #645 on: 12/13/2014 06:07 PM »
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...
The bill also allows the joint venture to use the Russian engines — known as the RD-180 — it previously ordered from its Russian supplier. The company said Friday that it had 29 engines on order, including five that have already been delivered.

29 engines on order plus ULA existing stockpile is about a 5 year supply?

Maybe time to invert thread title to "Rumors that US Congress may block import of RD-180 to Pentagon"
 ;D
edit: change guesstimate to 5 years
« Last Edit: 12/13/2014 06:08 PM by ngilmore »

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #646 on: 12/13/2014 06:21 PM »
So what if Mr. Putin reacts to this unfriendly language and orders a stop on RD-180 shipments?
For sure this will mean loss of many millions of $ but the sanctions against Russia caused multibillion damages to them already. So why should he care?

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #647 on: 12/13/2014 06:38 PM »
So what if Mr. Putin reacts to this unfriendly language and orders a stop on RD-180 shipments?
For sure this will mean loss of many millions of $ but the sanctions against Russia caused multibillion damages to them already. So why should he care?

Unfriendly language from the United States?  That ship sailed some time ago.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #648 on: 12/14/2014 12:42 AM »
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...
The bill also allows the joint venture to use the Russian engines — known as the RD-180 — it previously ordered from its Russian supplier. The company said Friday that it had 29 engines on order, including five that have already been delivered.

29 engines on order plus ULA existing stockpile is about a 5 year supply?

Maybe time to invert thread title to "Rumors that US Congress may block import of RD-180 to Pentagon"
 ;D
edit: change guesstimate to 5 years
It was said that ULA had 100 engines on order, total. Atlas III took 6 of those so there were 94 engines for Atlas V. I believe that by the middle of the year, when the congressional issues were raised, ULA stated they had 17 engine on stockpile. Then you add the 29 on order, you get 48 engines, which is about the missions they had launched by then. If this was so, there could only be an additional 43 Atlas V launches. Which is frightening since there are 9 launches just planned for 2015. Or roughly four extra years of launches. If they don't keep selling even more for things like Commercial Crew.
On the other hand, if the law only blocks further orders for DoD, they might have left the door open to order engines for the commercial launches, and let them "borrow" engines to be later returned and thus have 43 missions left just for DoD, which, incidentally, is about five  to six years worth of missions.

Offline Razvan

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #649 on: 12/14/2014 01:46 AM »
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...
The bill also allows the joint venture to use the Russian engines — known as the RD-180 — it previously ordered from its Russian supplier. The company said Friday that it had 29 engines on order, including five that have already been delivered.

29 engines on order plus ULA existing stockpile is about a 5 year supply?

Maybe time to invert thread title to "Rumors that US Congress may block import of RD-180 to Pentagon"
 ;D
edit: change guesstimate to 5 years
It was said that ULA had 100 engines on order, total. Atlas III took 6 of those so there were 94 engines for Atlas V. I believe that by the middle of the year, when the congressional issues were raised, ULA stated they had 17 engine on stockpile. Then you add the 29 on order, you get 48 engines, which is about the missions they had launched by then. If this was so, there could only be an additional 43 Atlas V launches. Which is frightening since there are 9 launches just planned for 2015. Or roughly four extra years of launches. If they don't keep selling even more for things like Commercial Crew.
On the other hand, if the law only blocks further orders for DoD, they might have left the door open to order engines for the commercial launches, and let them "borrow" engines to be later returned and thus have 43 missions left just for DoD, which, incidentally, is about five  to six years worth of missions.
5 years?! Then, what is this circus about Bezos engines? Do they need 5 yrs, too?
« Last Edit: 12/14/2014 01:46 AM by Razvan »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #650 on: 12/14/2014 03:08 AM »
I was speculating. Those are just educated guesses. The critical item is if they can get commercial engines orders outside of the 100 engine limit. But in any case, new core could be delayed. And if you look at normal timelines, you can only hit a good stride of launches three to five years after initial launch. The first sic launches will have a lot of anomalies that will have to be ironed out. And then you have to reach the correct certification levels. Atlas V is the most certified LV in the US. It's Category 3 rated for NASA, DoD, nuclear rated and is being human rated as of right now. That takes time and missions (at least six months after the 3rd launch). I know, DoD has insight in all ULA processes and might get away with just 1 demo mission (if at all). But you can't close down Atlas V one year and start launching 8 NGLV in the next. You need a reasonable overlap. Besides, some missions might take six or more years from initial integration to actual launch.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #651 on: 12/16/2014 02:14 AM »
American industry can produce a replacement engine in less than 5 years.  I don't see that being an issue.

Shift some payloads to Delta 4, F9 gets certified and Atlas V has 40+ missions available.  Not a problem.
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Offline lesxiarxis

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #652 on: 12/16/2014 06:11 AM »
The original contact was for 101 engines. However, if I recall correctly in December 2012 there was an announcement for the signing of a second contract for an additional 31 engines. Anyone else remembers this?

So the total contracted engines could be either 101 or 132. Of course it does not mean that all have been “ordered” for delivery. All would depend on the exact wording of the final bill.

Back to lurking and learning.  :)

Offline Prober

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #653 on: 12/16/2014 12:15 PM »
The original contact was for 101 engines. However, if I recall correctly in December 2012 there was an announcement for the signing of a second contract for an additional 31 engines. Anyone else remembers this?

So the total contracted engines could be either 101 or 132. Of course it does not mean that all have been “ordered” for delivery. All would depend on the exact wording of the final bill.

Back to lurking and learning.  :)

Jim talked about a 2nd contract, but this the first time I've heard a number of engines.

Does a new contract = an order?
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #654 on: 12/16/2014 03:47 PM »
This article seems to imply that the most recent order was for 29 engines, of which 5 have already been delivered:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Presumably that is the "second contract."
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 03:53 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #655 on: 12/16/2014 03:56 PM »
So what if Mr. Putin reacts to this unfriendly language and orders a stop on RD-180 shipments?
For sure this will mean loss of many millions of $ but the sanctions against Russia caused multibillion damages to them already. So why should he care?

Unfriendly language from the United States?  That ship sailed some time ago.
I am not sure, unfriendly language would be enough motivation in the current economic environment.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #656 on: 12/17/2014 09:48 AM »
Unfriendly language from the United States?  That ship sailed some time ago.
I am not sure, unfriendly language would be enough motivation in the current economic environment.
You did not understood. He meant that USA already uses "unfriendly language" for months about Russia over their anschluss of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine.

If there will be reaction, it will be directly caused by actions of USA, not language. Talk is cheap, after all.
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Offline Prober

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #657 on: 12/17/2014 06:49 PM »
Reuters has done some digging and comes up with cost and profit numbers from AMROSS on the RD-180:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/us-russia-capitalism-rockets-special-rep-idUSKCN0J22BQ20141119

Quote
RD Amross buys the engines from Energomash for $20.2 million each on average, according to Amross’s current contract with Energomash, dated June 5, 2014.

Amross adds $3.2 million to each engine, a 15 percent markup. It then sells them to ULA for $23.4 million, according to an amendment to Amross’s contract with ULA, dated Oct. 2, 2014.

In all, Amross will reap $93 million in mark-ups over the course of the deal. The $680 million contract calls for 29 engines to be delivered from this year through 2017.

The current arrangement follows an earlier, $303 million contract proposal that called for Amross to deliver 12 engines to ULA from 2011 to 2013.

In an August 2011 report, the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency detailed the deal. It said that middleman Amross would pay $17.9 million per engine on average. Amross then planned to add on average $5.5 million in “profit” to the price of each engine – an extra 31 percent - before reselling them to ULA. The profit mark-ups totalled more than $66 million.

In a 67-page report, Pentagon auditors called the proposal “not acceptable for the negotiation of a fair and reasonable price.” They contested the $66 million profit “in its entirety, as unallowable excessive pass-through charges” under federal contracting law. The services Amross cited to justify the profit “constituted ‘no or negligible value,’” they concluded. The auditors also contested $14.4 million in overhead expenses.

The findings were extraordinarily blunt, said Charles Tiefer, a military contracting specialist and professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, who reviewed the document for Reuters.

“The bottom line is that the joint venture between the Russians and Americans is taking us to the cleaners,” Tiefer said. He said he had reviewed Pentagon audits critical of Iraq War contracts, but those “didn't come anywhere near to how strongly negative” the Amross audit was.

Quote
In June, Energomash and Amross finished up a new agreement to supply RD-180 engines to the Air Force program.ULA is paying $23.4 million per engine – the same price originally called for in the prior contract that caused all the wrangling.

Thought I'd input this info from the GenCorp Form 10K  deals with the Aerojet Rocketdyne merger.
Deals directly http://investor.gencorp.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1193125-14-40681

"The aggregate consideration to UTC was $411 million, paid in cash, which represents the initial purchase price of $550 million reduced by $55 million relating to the pending future acquisition of UTC’s 50% ownership interest of RD Amross, LLC (“RD Amross” a joint venture with NPO Energomash of Khimki, Russia which sells RD-180 engines to RD Amross), and the portion of the UTC business that markets and supports the sale of RD-180 engines (the “RDA Acquisition”). The acquisition of UTC’s 50% ownership interest of RD Amross and UTC’s related business is contingent upon certain conditions including receipt of certain Russian governmental regulatory approvals, which may not be obtained. "

The $55mil is the value given to that partnership.   
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Offline Stan Black

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #658 on: 01/11/2015 09:07 AM »
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...
The bill also allows the joint venture to use the Russian engines — known as the RD-180 — it previously ordered from its Russian supplier. The company said Friday that it had 29 engines on order, including five that have already been delivered.

29 engines on order plus ULA existing stockpile is about a 5 year supply?

Maybe time to invert thread title to "Rumors that US Congress may block import of RD-180 to Pentagon"
 ;D
edit: change guesstimate to 5 years
It was said that ULA had 100 engines on order, total. Atlas III took 6 of those so there were 94 engines for Atlas V. I believe that by the middle of the year, when the congressional issues were raised, ULA stated they had 17 engine on stockpile. Then you add the 29 on order, you get 48 engines, which is about the missions they had launched by then. If this was so, there could only be an additional 43 Atlas V launches. Which is frightening since there are 9 launches just planned for 2015. Or roughly four extra years of launches. If they don't keep selling even more for things like Commercial Crew.
On the other hand, if the law only blocks further orders for DoD, they might have left the door open to order engines for the commercial launches, and let them "borrow" engines to be later returned and thus have 43 missions left just for DoD, which, incidentally, is about five  to six years worth of missions.

Atlas V started with engine number 9? What happened to number 8?
« Last Edit: 01/11/2015 09:08 AM by Stan Black »

Online russianhalo117

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Re: Rumors that Russia may block the export of RD-180 to the US
« Reply #659 on: 01/11/2015 04:38 PM »
"Congress OKs bill banning purchases of Russian-made rocket engines"
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-russian-rocket-ban-20141213-story.html

Quote
Despite lobbying from a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the Senate voted 89-11 to approve a bill Friday that would ban the Pentagon from awarding future rocket launch contracts to firms using Russian engines.
...
United Launch Alliance succeeded at weakening the bill so that it is allowed to use the Russian engines already in its inventory, which it says is enough for military launches over the next two years.
...
The bill also allows the joint venture to use the Russian engines — known as the RD-180 — it previously ordered from its Russian supplier. The company said Friday that it had 29 engines on order, including five that have already been delivered.

29 engines on order plus ULA existing stockpile is about a 5 year supply?

Maybe time to invert thread title to "Rumors that US Congress may block import of RD-180 to Pentagon"
 ;D
edit: change guesstimate to 5 years
It was said that ULA had 100 engines on order, total. Atlas III took 6 of those so there were 94 engines for Atlas V. I believe that by the middle of the year, when the congressional issues were raised, ULA stated they had 17 engine on stockpile. Then you add the 29 on order, you get 48 engines, which is about the missions they had launched by then. If this was so, there could only be an additional 43 Atlas V launches. Which is frightening since there are 9 launches just planned for 2015. Or roughly four extra years of launches. If they don't keep selling even more for things like Commercial Crew.
On the other hand, if the law only blocks further orders for DoD, they might have left the door open to order engines for the commercial launches, and let them "borrow" engines to be later returned and thus have 43 missions left just for DoD, which, incidentally, is about five  to six years worth of missions.

Atlas V started with engine number 9? What happened to number 8?
I believe it was used in the original AV CCB ground tests and was later refired a few years ago in Russia to test, refine and certify the engines EDS commanding as part of the ongoing AV man rating programme for NASA Commercial Crew. It was one of the milestones in the ULA SAA.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2015 04:39 PM by russianhalo117 »

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