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Tory Bruno: 2017 NDAA Would Help ULA Transition to US-Built Engine for Vulcan Rocket

Tory Bruno: 2017 NDAA Would Help ULA Transition to US-Built Engine for Vulcan Rocket - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Tory Bruno
Tory Bruno
Tory Bruno

Tory Bruno, president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, has said he believes the passage of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act would help pave the way for ULA to further develop the Vulcan rocket, Via Satellite reported Thursday.

Caleb Henry writes House and Senate lawmakers work to reconcile through a conference the two versions of the 2017 NDAA that would authorize the procurement of up to 18 additional Russian-built RD-180 engines.

Bruno told the publication the proposed bill would provide the BoeingLockheed Martin joint venture enough supply of RD-180s in order to transition to a U.S. alternative that would be used to support the launch of the Vulcan rocket, which will replace ULA's Atlas V and Delta family of rockets.

“We are doing this very fast “” this engine and rocket development that we are now in the middle of is going to be done in about half the normal span, and allow us to get off the venerable RD-180 rocket engine and onto an all-American solution,“ he added.

ULA completed in December the preliminary design review of the Vulcan launch vehicle and plans to make a decision on what U.S.-made rocket engine to use as a replacement to RD-180s, Henry reports.

The report noted Blue Origin said its BE-4 engine will be ready for launch by 2017, while Aerojet Rocketdyne claims its AR 1 engine will be qualified to launch by 2019.

“Sometime close to the end of the year we are going to down-select, and then move into our critical design review and start manufacturing the rocket,“ Bruno told Via Satellite.

ULA introduced Vulcan in April 2015 and tapped Orbital ATK in September to build solid boosters for the Atlas V and Vulcan rockets in support of commercial and government launches.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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