It is noted that space is of great importance to the United States. Not only intelligence and the Pentagon depend on it, but also economy USA in general. At the same time, the United States stubbornly continues to launch rockets with Russian engines into space, which many Americans are not even aware of.
It is clarified that by December 31, 2022, according to updated American law, the US Air Force should stop using the aforementioned RD-180 engines. The publication believes that the US Congress "wisely acted" when it decided to get rid of "dangerous dependence on the enemy," replacing these engines with American counterparts.
It is emphasized that the selection of the relevant American suppliers is already underway. Moreover, if by the end of 2022 the American counterparts are not in the right readiness, then there is a high probability that the United States will extend the use of the RD-180 until the end of 2024, making amendments to the legislation. At the same time, the publication is confident that Washington does not need to allow another delay, since any delay will be in the hands of Moscow. This will strengthen Russia's position and undermine US national security.
It should be recalled that since 1997, Russia has been supplying the United States with RD-180 rocket engines for the US Atlas V rocket launchers (launch vehicles). Naturally, the United States is developing its own alternative developments, but they still cannot compare in terms of performance with the RD-180.
The Americans ordered more than 100 pieces of RD-180. In 2016, the United States tried to impose a moratorium on the purchase of these engines from 2019, but then they extended the contract until 2022. And now there is a chance that everything will happen again.