Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Pratt & Whitney is to market a new Russian-developed cryogenic upper stage for international satellite launch-vehicle applications.

The 22,000lb-thrust (100kN) RD-0146 upper stage is under development by the Chemical Automatics Design Bureau (CADB), which is already working with P&W on the private-venture development of a 60,000lb-thrust RL60 cryogenic upper stage.

CADB is developing the restartable, liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen RD-0146 for Russian launch-vehicle manufacturer Krunichev. It will be used for an upgraded version of the Proton booster and the planned Angara launcher family. Development began in 1998 after the USA refused to export P&W's RL10 cryogenic upper stage to Russia, says Dennis Mills, programme director, liquid upper stage propulsion at P&W. First flight of the RD-0146 is about three years away, he says.

P&W is planning to offer the RD-0146 as a low-cost alternative to the RL10 for commercial launch vehicle applications outside the CIS. The US company will buy engines from CABD for use in upper stages developed for international customers, he says.

Mills says CADB has worked with P&W for some time, supplying components for rocket engine demonstrators.

The Russian design bureau is developing the liquid-oxygen turbopump for P&W's RL60, which is set to become available by late 2005. P&W already markets the 933,000lb-thrust RD-180 first-stage engine made by Russia's NPO Energomash and used in Lockheed Martin's Atlas III and IV launch vehicles.

The agreement allows for US manufacture of the liquid-oxygen/kerosene dual thrust-chamber engine, if market demand rises above that forecast for the Atlas IV family of evolved expendable launch vehicles.

Source: Flight International