Headline: Russia probably stops supplying the U.S.
with missile engines as an answer to U.S. sanctions.
According to a Russian news agency report on May 13, Russia's deputy prime minister Rogozin made clear the same day that Russia suspends further supply of RD-180 and K-33 missile engines to the U.S. as an answer to U.S. sanctions.
[Source: XinHua Network 新华网, quoted by 中国甘肃网 on May 14, 2014]
The RD-180 (РД-180, Ракетный Двигатель-180, Rocket Engine-180) is a Russian-designed-and-built rocket engine. It features a dual-combustion chamber, dual-nozzle design and is fueled by a kerosene/liquid oxygene mixture. Currently RD-180 engines are used for the first-stage of the U.S. Atlas V launch vehicle and which is expended at each launch. Therefore, a steady supply of RD-180 engines is needed.
Doubts about the reliability of the supply chain for the RD-180 arose following the Ukraine crisis in March 2014. For over 13 years since the engine was first used in the Lockheed Martin Atlas III launch vehicle in 2000, there was never any serious jeopardy to the engine supply, despite an uneven record of U.S.-Russian relations since the Cold War.
Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin now said "Russia will ban the United States from using Russian-made rocket engines for military launches" thus targeting the frequent military payloads of the ULA Atlas V launch vehicle which powers its first stage with two RD-180 engines.
Originally intended was a co-production of the RD-180 engine by Pratt&Whitney, however up to now all engines have been produced in Russia.
test-firing of an RD-180 engine
Rogozin, one of the senior Russian officials sanctioned by the European Union and United States after Moscow moved to annex Crimea, was turned away when his plane tried to fly to Moscow from Moldova's breakaway Transdniestria region.
According to his tweets in English, Rogozin, who oversees Russia's powerful arms industry, was also blocked by Ukrainian interceptor jets as he tried to fly home from the Russian-speaking region of Moldova bordering Ukraine.
"Upon US request, Romania has closed its airspace for my plane," he tweeted. "Ukraine doesn't allow me to pass through again. Next time I'll fly on board TU-160." The supersonic Soviet-era TU-160 is Russia's largest strategic bomber.
On Saturday the Romanian foreign ministry asked Moscow to clarify whether Rogozin's comments represented "the Russian Federation's official position towards Romania as an EU and Nato member".
[Source: The Guardian, British daily on May 10, 2014]
Rogozin: If Moldavia and the EU establish relations of national significance, the relationship between Russia and them will probably change.
[Source: Voice of Russia (Chinese) 俄罗斯之声 on May 12, 2014]
The Art of War
War is a question of vital importance to the state, a matter of life and death, the road to survival or ruin. Hence, it is a subject which calls for careful study.