14:02 GMT26 November 2020
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    Russia will supply the largest ever number of space rocket engines to the United States in 2017 within the framework of the previous agreements, head of the Russia’s NPO Energomash corporation Igor Arbuzov said on Wednesday.

    ZHUKOVSKIY (Sputnik) — In 2014, the US Congress strictly limited future purchases of Russian RD-180 engines used in Atlas launch vehicles since 2000 at a time when it imposed economic sanctions on Russia over Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine's domestic affairs.

    In June 2016, US Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, attempted to cut off any further purchase of the Russian engines, proposing US companies compete to provide the United States with a reliable, domestic space launch platform.

    "The largest volume of supplies is intended for this year: 11 RD-180 engines for the US Atlas V rockets and four RD-181 engines for the US Antares rockets," Arbuzov told reporters.

    The US Blue Origin company has been developing BE-4 engines, set to eventually replace Russia's RD-180, since 2011. The flight tests are expected to take place in 2019.


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