U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday that the Pentagon will reassess the use of Russian-made RD-180 engines to power the Atlas V rocket, which launches many of the nation’s vital military and national security satellites.
“This is going to engage us in a review of that,” Hagel told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee today. “No question about that.”
United Launch Alliance has an engine supply of more than two years in the U.S., Michael Gass, president and chief operating officer of the company, said at the same hearing.
“We bought all the blueprints and specifications, brought them into the country,” and demonstrated “that we can take the blueprints and specifications” and replicate the engines if needed, Gass said.
“We invested hundreds of millions of dollars to prove that we have the capability to demonstrate our ability to build that exact engine.”
The reassessment comes as tensions have escalated over the Russian takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, which is part of Ukraine. The U.S. has opposed the action.
Read the full story.