The Pentagon must buy at least 18 Russian rocket engines RD-180 for launching military satellites in the next six years. This was stated by Deputy head of Department Robert Wark, Reuters reports.
According to Wark, the US needs to have at least two “affordable and reliable way to get into space”. Now space launches are United Launch Alliance (ULA), which uses the RD-180, SpaceX and Elon musk. American authorities fear that if the purchase of Russian engines will be banned, it will lead to difficulties with the launches of ULA.
Deputy head of Pentagon underlined that the use of RD-180 required for the development of the American counterpart. “We just don’t understand how we can get the new engine in less than six years, explained Wark. — Therefore, we strongly believe that during the transition period we need rocket engines RD-180. No more than 18, but this is our position”.