Cash backing has at last been found for the completion of the GKNPT Khrunichev Angara rocket, following the signing of an agreement between Khrunichev and Russian commercial bank Vneshtorgbank (VTB) earlier this month.

Under the deal, VTB will act as principal investor and will help the manufacturer optimise its relations with creditors and partners and finance its current activities and import-export operations.

The agreement is part of the bank's wider investment in the aerospace industry, says VTB chairman Yuri Ponomarov. VTB has already lent Khrunichev around $40 million. The funds will be used to complete the Angara, a composite module with various class engines depending on cargo size. The twin-engined variant can carry a 5t payload, the four engined version 10-12t, and a six-engined variant will carry over 20t.

First launch is set for 2003 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

Source: Flight International