NIZHNY NOVGOROD, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will invest about 4.5 billion rubles ($143 mln) by 2015 in the production of engines for a family of Angara carrier rockets, the Perm Territory's government said on Monday.
The RD-191 is a high-performance single-combustion chamber rocket engine, which recently passed a series of benchmark tests at the Proton-PM company in the Perm Territory in the Urals, and will be soon certified for test flights.
Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and the Perm Territory signed an investment agreement last week during the MAKS-2009 air show near Moscow.
The environmentally-friendly Angara rocket, currently under development by the Khrunichev center, is designed to put heavy payloads into orbit. It is intended mainly for launch from the Plesetsk space center to reduce Moscow's dependence on Kazakhstan's Baikonur, the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets.
The new line of rockets will complement, and eventually replace, the existing line of Rockot and Proton launch vehicles. It will be available in a range of configurations capable of lifting between two and 24.5 metric tons into low-earth orbit.
The Angara family will be used for military and civilian purposes, specifically to put into orbit satellites as part of the Federal Space Program, as well as joint international space projects.
The Khrunichev center recently asked the government to allocate additional 10 billion rubles (about $290 mln) over the next three years to finish the development of the Angara rocket.