US Space Command: Atlas 5 may be grounded if Russian RD-180 is found to violate sanctions

The United States Air Force will stop launches of the Atlas-5 carrier rockets, in which the Russian RD-180 engines are installed, if the American government decides that Russia, which is subject to sanctions, controls the manufacturer of these engines.  This was reported by the Head of the Air Force’s Space and Missile System Center, Lieutenant General Samuel Greaves.

At the moment, the Pentagon is preparing responses regarding sanctions and related issues to a request from the senior United States Senator from Arizona, John McCain.  Last week, McCain demanded that the United States Air Force and Pentagon explain why the US Government continues to use engines constructed by the Russian NPO, Energomash.  He stated that the sanctions imposed against Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, and numerous other people also subjected to sanctions, took control of the company after a major reorganization.

The Congress prohibited the use of Russian RD-180 rocket engines for military use after 2019.  However, the ban was weakened due to concerns based on the fact that United Launch Alliance, a joint venture set up by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, will not be able to continue production without the Russian engines.

  Russia, Sanctions