19:30 GMT17 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The first stage motor of the US Air Force’s new OmegA rocket planned to replace Russian engines to launch American satellites into orbit was successfully test fired for more than two minutes, Northrop Grumman announced in a press release.

    "Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully conducted a full-scale static fire test of the first stage of its new OmegA rocket today in Promontory, Utah," the release stated on Thursday.

    The test maintains the development timetable for OmegA to be test launched for the first time in 2021 and commence carrying national security payloads into orbit starting in 2022, Northrop Grumman said.

    READ MORE: DoD: Northrop Grumman Gets $3.1Bln US Navy Order for 24 Hawkeye Command Aircraft

    In October 2018, the US Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $792 million contract to complete detailed design of OmegA. The 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act specified that a domestic next-generation rocket propulsion system should be developed by 2019.


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