Avio Purchases 10 Additional Ukrainian Engines for Vega Launcher’s Upper Stage

Vega launches on April 28, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

DNIPRO, Ukraine (Yuzhnoye PR) — Yuzhnoye Design Office and the Italian company Avio have reached an agreement on the additional purchase of 10 Ukrainian-made engines for the Vega launch vehicle for a total of almost 6 million euros [$7.2 million]. 

The Italian side reaffirmed its readiness to expand cooperation on April 28. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the agreement reached by the joint efforts of representatives of the Ukrainian rocket and space industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. 

“The expansion of participation in the European Vega program testifies to the reliability and competitiveness of engineering developments in the Ukrainian space rocket industry. High-quality high-tech exports develop the Ukrainian economy, provide orders for enterprises, jobs for Ukrainian specialists. Support of such contracts is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the efforts of Ukrainian diplomats in Italy have played an important role in reaching this agreement,” he said.

The Vega light launch vehicle is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. SE “Pivdenne” and SE “VO” Southern Machine-Building Plant” have been cooperating with the Italian company Avio under the Vega program since 2004. In total, over the years of cooperation, Avio has manufactured and already delivered more than 20 units of the propulsion engine, the last of which in early 2021. 

The current contract for the supply of 11 units of the propulsion engine (BMD) is designed until 2023. Seven units have already been delivered to him, one will be shipped to the customer in the near future, three more are in the process of production.  

A feature of the BMD is the possibility of up to five firings during the flight, which ensures the deployment of satellites in different orbits. 

Yuzhnoye’s chief economist Dmytro Nikon explained: “The current contract contains an option that provides for the production of an additional 10 units. We thank the Ukrainian diplomats who kept the case under control and repeatedly contacted both the company’s management and representatives of the Italian Space Agency, which led to a positive result. “

“Cooperation with Avio is a clear example of the integration of the Ukrainian rocket and space industry into European space programs. For our part, we are doing everything possible to develop and expand Ukrainian-Italian cooperation in the field of space technology, and we will be grateful to our diplomats for further support, “said Oleksandr Prokopchuk, chief designer of the Liquid Rocket Engines Design Bureau.

The Embassy of Ukraine in Italy is making priority efforts to ensure and promote cooperation between Ukraine and Italy in the space industry. Italy is one of the founding members of the European Space Agency and is one of the three main contributors, along with Germany and France.