United Launch CEO Confident on Russian Engine Deliveries

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Doug Cameron

The head of the largest U.S. space launch company said Wednesday that deliveries of its Russian-made rocket engines had been accelerated, mitigating concerns that a mooted supply crunch could delay military and intelligence missions.

United Launch Alliance LLC, or ULA, expects to receive two RD-180 engines in August and is confident the supply will continue, even though a senior Russian politician last month threatened to halt shipments as tensions with the U.S. escalated in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.

"I am not concerned about RD-180 shipments," said Michael Gass, chief executive of ULA, a joint venture between Boeing Co. (BA) and Lockheed Martin Corp. ( LMT ).

ULA uses boosters made by state-controlled NAO Energomash Russian to send half of its military and intelligence payloads into orbit, and the prospect of losing these triggered a push from lawmakers and military leaders to create a new U.S.-produced alternative that could take up to seven years and $2 billion to develop.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@wsj.com

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  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-18-141139ET
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