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WASHINGTON, August 21. /ITAR-TASS/. US company United Launch Alliance (ULA) has received Wednesday first two Russian rocket engines RD-180 under a contract to buy 29 such engines, ULA spokesperson Jessica Rye told ITAR-TASS.
Engines were delivered to a ULA plant in Decatur, Alabama, the US company’s spokesperson said.
RD-180 produced at Moscow region’s Khimki-based power engineering company Energomash is mounted on the first stage of Lockheed-Martin-developed heavy rocket Atlas V. Two giants of US aerospace industry have set up joint venture ULA which has a many-year and multimillion contract with the US Department of Defense for launches of intelligence satellites.
In May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and chief of Russian space agency Oleg Ostapenko warned that Moscow might halt supplies of rocket engines to the United States, if the country continued to use them for launches of military satellites. Meanwhile, Secretary of the US Air Force Deborah Lee James told ITAR-TASS in June that Washington had not taken final decisions over the issues whether the country should accelerate rocket engine’s purchase in Russia and should buy a license for their production on the American territory.