Roscosmos Discussed the Possibility of Reducing the Cost of Engines for the Angara Rocket

Angara-A5 launch (Credit: Russian Aerospace Forces)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Proton-PM company (part of the integrated structure of NPO Energomash of the Roscosmos State Corporation) was visited on February 10–11, 2022 by a Roscosmos delegation headed by Igor Novikov, Director of the Department for the Implementation of the Program for the Creation of a Super Heavy Space Rocket Complex. During the two-day visit, the parties considered the issues of quality control of the manufacture of the RD-191 rocket engine and its modifications for the Angara launch vehicles, the transfer of their production from the developer enterprise, which is NPO Energomash, to the serial plant – Proton-PM, measures to reduce product cost.

In particular, project manager Igor Timshin noted that in the process of mastering the engine at the Perm enterprise, it was possible to reduce the labor intensity of manufacturing key units by an average of 11%, the cost of a standard hour by 37%, and the duration of the production cycle by almost a third. The cost of the kit decreased by 40.1 million rubles.

Pyotr Lyovochkin, chief designer of NPO Energomash, spoke about the design and technological measures to improve the quality and reliability of rocket engines: in combination with technological solutions implemented at Proton. They will reduce the labor intensity of manufacturing an engine for the Angara rocket and its cost. A change in approaches to product quality control was also discussed, namely the possibility of reducing the volume of confirmatory periodic tests and, as a result, the cost of their implementation.

In addition, within the framework of the working visit, the progress of the implementation of Proton-PM investment projects was considered. The delegation visited a new building at a suburban site in Novye Lyady, where the organization of the final assembly shop for rocket engines is being completed today. On an area of ​​more than 40 thousand square meters, it will also house machining and mechanical assembly production, a complex of lines for electrochemical coatings.

Director of Proton-PM Ivan Krasnov spoke about the program for transferring production facilities to a country site. According to him, obtaining the status of a serial manufacturer of the engine set the task for the enterprise to organize the production of the engine on time and in the required volume, while ensuring the required cost of the product. The program united 14 projects, such as: technological preparation of production, relocation of test equipment, preparation of IT infrastructure, staffing, and others.

The development of the Proton-PM test base was also discussed. As a promising investment project, the construction of a fire test bench for oxygen-kerosene components is being considered. This will make it possible to organize a closed production cycle for the RD-191 engine and its modifications at the Perm site.

Igor Arbuzov ,CEO of NPO Energomash, head of the integrated rocket engine building structure: “As part of the working visit of the Roscosmos delegation, several meetings were held with the participation of the leaders of NPO Energomash, Proton-PM, the Keldysh Center, their goal is to accelerate the launch of mass production of engines for the launch vehicle. Angara” at the Perm site. We discussed issues related to the completion of the investment project for the construction of a new production building. We considered opportunities to reduce the cost of the RD-191 and RD-191M engines, improve their quality and reliability – in the future they will be used not only in transport astronautics, but also in manned launches.”

Igor Novikov, Director of the Department for the Implementation of the Program for the Creation of a Super Heavy Class Spacecraft of the Roscosmos State Corporation: “We will strive to implement all the decisions formulated during the two days of the working trip, including the development of the enterprise’s bench base, the reduction of testing volumes and other areas that contribute to increasing competitiveness engines of launch vehicles ‘Angara’. The department oversees the implementation of the agreement between Roscosmos and the Perm Territory, so it is important for us that the project to organize mass production of rocket engines on the basis of Proton-PM is successfully developed. During the visit, we saw that the work on creating modern production facilities has made significant progress.”