Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Roscosmos Looks to Sell RD-191 Rocket Engines to India

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 19, 2022
Filed under , , , , , , , ,
RD-191 rocket engine. (Credit: Владислав Чёрный)

No longer able to export rocket engines to the United States, Roscomos is looking to India as a new market. RBC reports that the state corporation is exploring the possibility of supplying 10 RD-191 rocket engines manufactured by NPO Energomash to India over a five-year period beginning in 2024.

It’s not clear from the report whether the engines would be purchased by India’s space agency, ISRO, or by one of the private companies developing new launch vehicles. Nor is it clear what launch vehicle the engines would be used in.

The kerosene/liquid oxygen RD-191 engines are used in Russia’s Angara family of rocket boosters. A variant of the engine known as the RD-181 is currently used to power the first stage of Northrop Grumman’s Antares launch vehicle. The Antares first stage is supplied by a Ukrainian company.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February put an end to exports of the RD-181 engines and Ukrainian first stages to the United States. Northrop Grumman is now developing a new Antares first stage that will be powered by engines supplied by Firefly Aerospace.

Russia is no longer exporting RD-180 engines for use in United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V rocket. ULA is phasing out use of the Atlas V in favor of the new Vulcan Centaur booster, which is scheduled to have its maiden launch next year.

8 responses to “Roscosmos Looks to Sell RD-191 Rocket Engines to India”

  1. Elspeth Pilotsdotter says:

    It’s a solid system. But waaaay out of date.

  2. ThomasLMatula says:

    It’s sad how India is supporting the Russian war machine. And given how close the Russians are trying to get with their arch enemy China probably not a wise idea for them to do so.

    • gunsandrockets says:

      Russia and India have a very long history of military and aerospace cooperation. Going all the way back to the 1950s. Putin is playing upon that history.

      I suspect the India/Russia relationship will last longer than Putin will.

      • ThomasLMatula says:

        Yes, that was while the Russians were using India to counter Mao’s China. It will be interesting to see which side Russia would choose if China and India escalate their border issues.

        In the meantime there should be some consequences for India for its actions. A reduction in visas for Tech Workers and new rules on locating call centers in India would be a good start to remind them there is no neutrality when trying to stop someone like Putin from endangering the world.

  3. gunsandrockets says:

    If technology transfer is part of the deal, Russia will probably get a sale.

Leave a Reply