Aerojet Rocketdyne has selected Dynetics to further assist in the development of a new rocket engine intended to replace the Russian-made RD-180 currently used by the U.S. military to launch defense and national security space assets.
Dynetics has participated in the AR1 development team over the past 18 months and will supply the engine’s main propulsion system, ignition system and ground support equipment, Aerojet Rocketdyne said Monday.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force awarded “other transaction” agreements to Aerojet Rocketdyne and the United Launch Alliance for new rocket engine prototypes to support the branch’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and efforts to build a RD-180 replacement.
“Our collaboration with Dynetics in developing key AR1 components is an essential element to having a certified engine in 2019,” said Jim Simpson, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Aerojet Rocketdyne and its partners are building AR1 to be a 500,000-pound force, thrust-class booster engine powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene that can be adaptable to current and future launch vehicles in development.