Author Topic: ULA orders more RD-180's  (Read 15320 times)

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 701
  • Likes Given: 728
ULA orders more RD-180's
« on: 12/23/2015 09:29 PM »
With ban lifted, ULA orders Russian-made rocket engines
http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/boosters_bits/2015/12/with-ban-lifted-ula-orders-russian-made-rocket.html?ana=yahoo

"The Centennial-based rocket launch provider said Wednesday it ordered 20 RD-180 rocket engines for use in its Atlas V rockets, calling the purchase a bridge until new American-made rocket engines can be developed for a new line of ULA rockets.

ULA’s last RD-180 order, before the import ban was enacted, was for 29 RD-180s.

All but five of those were committed to launches contract for the military by the U.S. Air Force."
« Last Edit: 12/23/2015 09:34 PM by Prober »
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • UK
  • Liked: 1819
  • Likes Given: 183
ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #1 on: 12/23/2015 09:33 PM »
With ban lifted, ULA orders Russian-made rocket engines
http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/boosters_bits/2015/12/with-ban-lifted-ula-orders-russian-made-rocket.html?ana=yahoo

"The Centennial-based rocket launch provider said Wednesday it ordered 20 RD-180 rocket engines for use in its Atlas V rockets, calling the purchase a bridge until new American-made rocket engines can be developed for a new line of ULA rockets."

I am sure a certain senator will advise ULA that this should not be used as an excuse to backslide on developing an alternative ASAP.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2015 09:37 PM by Star One »

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 701
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #2 on: 12/23/2015 10:07 PM »
more info in this article

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-boeing-venture-orders-20-204804158.html

"ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye said deliveries on the new batch of engines would start once ULA received all of the previous order. ULA received eight RD-180 engines this year, she said."
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • UK
  • Liked: 1819
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #3 on: 12/23/2015 10:21 PM »

more info in this article

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/lockheed-boeing-venture-orders-20-204804158.html

"ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye said deliveries on the new batch of engines would start once ULA received all of the previous order. ULA received eight RD-180 engines this year, she said."

Plenty of well deserved criticism of ULA under that article.

Offline rayleighscatter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1034
  • Maryland
  • Liked: 480
  • Likes Given: 228
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #4 on: 12/23/2015 11:31 PM »
Could we please not head down the path of getting another RD-180 thread locked?


Staying on topic, where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 580
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #5 on: 12/24/2015 12:25 AM »
where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

That could depend on future legislation. ULA will likely face an uncertain regulatory environment, to say the least!
« Last Edit: 12/24/2015 12:25 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline WindnWar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
  • South Carolina
  • Liked: 253
  • Likes Given: 1344
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #6 on: 12/24/2015 02:53 AM »
where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

That could depend on future legislation. ULA will likely face an uncertain regulatory environment, to say the least!

I wonder if they are all paid for or paid as delivered. That was the issue with the last batch, they required an exemption for the ones that had been ordered but not paid for. If these haven't been paid for, well its anyone's guess as to what congress may or may not do.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • UK
  • Liked: 1819
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #7 on: 12/24/2015 06:22 AM »

Could we please not head down the path of getting another RD-180 thread locked?


Staying on topic, where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

And precisely what is on topic?

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8652
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1123
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #8 on: 12/24/2015 12:19 PM »
I will take a shot in the dark. Only 20?

Considering all the worries about how long importing the RD-180 will stay "legal", does that mean they are taking a calculated risk of only needing 20 more engines before safely transitioning to the BE-4 and Vulcan?

If the plan was to back track on replacing Atlas with Vulcan, I would have expected a much larger order.

(Of course I am in the camp that ULA should be working hardest on ACES first, Vulcan second...)
« Last Edit: 12/24/2015 12:20 PM by kevin-rf »
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline rayleighscatter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1034
  • Maryland
  • Liked: 480
  • Likes Given: 228
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #9 on: 12/24/2015 12:51 PM »

Could we please not head down the path of getting another RD-180 thread locked?


Staying on topic, where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

And precisely what is on topic?

If I had to make a guess I'd say things that don't involve Senator Shelby, Senator McCain, any other political discussion or speculation, block buy, ELC or any other DoD policy criticism as this forum has a separate policy discussion area and when they're brought up in the ULA section it's usually not long until a moderator steps in and cleans up or locks the discussion.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • UK
  • Liked: 1819
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #10 on: 12/24/2015 02:32 PM »


Could we please not head down the path of getting another RD-180 thread locked?


Staying on topic, where does another 20 engines roughly get ULA to? About 2021-2022?

And precisely what is on topic?

If I had to make a guess I'd say things that don't involve Senator Shelby, Senator McCain, any other political discussion or speculation, block buy, ELC or any other DoD policy criticism as this forum has a separate policy discussion area and when they're brought up in the ULA section it's usually not long until a moderator steps in and cleans up or locks the discussion.

Thanks for the clarification. Sorry if my posts above seemed off topic I'm just rather exasperated by this whole situation.

Offline JamesG123

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 133
  • USA
  • Liked: 49
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #11 on: 12/25/2015 12:51 AM »
Because ULA and the RD-180s are inextricably intertwined with politics. You can't talk anything beyond basic technicals without bumping into it.  Sorry the truth hurts.

Offline McDew

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 269
  • Liked: 108
  • Likes Given: 49
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #12 on: 12/25/2015 01:26 AM »
Good timing for another RD-180 engine order.  The strong dollar ruble exchange rate should have allowed ULA to get a good price on these engines.   Helps explain why ULA wanted to get the older/more expensive engines used up as quickly as possible (FIFO) and use the cheaper engines to reach their price targets on future competitions.   Shows why having the restrictions tied to specific engines did not make sense.

Offline ArbitraryConstant

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1767
  • Liked: 436
  • Likes Given: 252
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #13 on: 12/25/2015 04:01 AM »
Seems like even given the political situation, absolute unconditional cold turkey was needlessly damaging. Transitioning to a competitive market has to be done carefully to ensure a healthy market afterwards, and I don't think we can make the case the previous restrictions would do that.

ULA should continue the transition away from RD-180 but they need to still exist to do so. The method sucks but I don't think it was a wise policy as implemented in the first place.

What remains to be seen is whether ULA continues the transition away from Russian engines or whether funding is halted now that the engine supply extends past the next few years.

Offline Dante80

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 886
  • Athens : Greece
  • Liked: 810
  • Likes Given: 503
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #14 on: 12/25/2015 10:45 AM »
The best way out of this situation would be - imo - to keep Atlas V running between 2018 and 2020 but place a firm mandate for the EELV program, stating that competition after 202X for DoD payloads would strictly be between certified vehicles/companies sporting only indigenous major components (like engines).

This does two things. Gives ULA the breathing room to work on Vulcan / transition to EELV phase 2 competition, and makes sure that a mandate is in place for LM/Boeing to adopt Vulcan fully.
« Last Edit: 12/25/2015 10:45 AM by Dante80 »

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7437
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1446
  • Likes Given: 4499
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #15 on: 12/25/2015 03:36 PM »
Yep. Banning the RD-180 outright is a very shortsighted measure. Just look at the GPS 3 situation. If ULA decides not to compete, let them do that. They have a very busy two or three years. But in 2016 they need to seriously get some business for 2019. If they decide to pass up the competitions, they will be in a very tight spot in three years.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3479
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1891
  • Likes Given: 223
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #16 on: 12/25/2015 05:16 PM »
Contract awards in 2016 are for launches NET 2019. This order is to support those competitions and the ones occurring in the next few years (2017-2018) for launches in 2020-2021. At 7 launches per year this order covers only 3 years. 4-5 DOD and 2-3 civil or commercial (this includes probably 1 flight per year of CST-100 on an Atlas V). The 4-5 DOD represents about 40-50% of all DOD awards. ULA will probably loose out to SpaceX on the rest of the 11 possible GPS 3 launches through 2021 representing about 3 launches per year in the years 2019-2021. SpaceX only needs to win an additional 2-3 launches per year to become the primary launch provider of DOD. The split on who launches which sats will probably be the smaller cheaper sats would go to SpaceX with the larger more expensive going to ULA although some exceptions of the split-up may occur. Especially in competitions in 2018 when FH is full certified and has more than 3 launches for a history. The competition environment for these launches is going to be tough. But I think their analysis of needing 18 to get to 2020 with a few more to get into 2021 is probably correct. Some of this order supports some of the slipped out launches that would have been  NLT 2018 that have now slipped into 2019-2020. This melding of old contracted with competition contracted flights in 2019 and 2020 will make flights in those years to show a gradual decline in total launches/year until 2021 which would be almost all competition awards for flights.

Offline Andy USA

  • Lead Moderator
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 981
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 126
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #17 on: 12/25/2015 08:34 PM »
Stupid comments will be removed. Repeat offenders will be banned.

Thread trim.
« Last Edit: 12/25/2015 08:34 PM by Andy USA »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12890
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3949
  • Likes Given: 755
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #18 on: 12/27/2015 02:58 AM »
I wish that ULA had not been given authority to nab these RD-180s.  I believe it would have been better for the company in the long run to have dealt with the lack of Energomash engines in some more clever way.  This result disappoints.

 - Ed Kyle 

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 580
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: ULA orders more RD-180's
« Reply #19 on: 12/27/2015 04:52 AM »
I share some of Ed's feelings. My primary concern is that in this example, like in so many others, well-meaning legislative action has created circumstances which almost compel actions which aren't really in the best interests of either the United States or of the regulated industrial entities. It looks like Energomash will benefit, and thus perhaps some of "Putin's cronies," but a steadier hand at the Congressional helm would have allowed ULA to chart a better course for itself and for the country.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2015 04:52 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Tags: