The Russian government has approved negotiations between NPO Energomash and Orbital Sciences LLS from the United States on the supply of the Russian RD-181M rocket engine for the American Antares launch vehicles.
Recall that the US Congress has repeatedly called for the rejection of the use of Russian rocket engines in American missiles. But, despite the acquisition of the necessary technical documentation for production, American analogs turned out to be much more expensive than Russian ones.
Obviously, entrepreneur Elon Musk failed to achieve a price comparable to Russian engines for delivering cargo to space — despite the fact that he calls his SpaceX rockets reusable.
The order of the Cabinet of Ministers posted on the portal of legal information states that the conclusion of a contract is possible if certain topics are settled between Roscosmos and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. In particular, Russia demanded guarantees of non-use of engines for military purposes and the adoption of measures aimed at protecting intellectual property.
The negotiations will be held under the control of Roscosmos, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the FSB of Russia, and the FSTEC of the Russian Federation so that there is no leakage of technologies and materials that can be used in the process of creating missile weapons.
Russia is also selling RD-180 engines to America, which are used by the United Launch Alliance in the Atlas-5 launch vehicle.
The RD-181 engines are supplied by the American company Orbital ATK and are used in Antares rockets that deliver Cygnus ships to the ISS.