Expenditures related to research and development work on an Aerojet Rocketdyne-built liquid oxygen/kerosene-based propulsion system have amounted to approximately $228 million as of June 30, Space News reported Monday.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is one of the two companies that won “other transaction” agreements from the U.S. Air Force in 2016 to develop the AR1 rocket as an alternative to the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine under a public-private partnership.
Aerojet Rocketdyne said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that total potential investment by the company and its partners in AR1 is valued at approximately $268 million, while the service branch’s total investment is worth $536 million, including all options.
The company’s net applied contract costs have reached approximately $51.8 million, while the military branch has spent about $135.3 million on R&D work on the rocket.
The firm completed hot-fire tests in May to verify the propulsion system’s preburner design.
“We are on track for certification in 2019 and remain on the schedule we laid out two years ago, which includes engine testing next year,” said Glenn Mahone, a spokesman for Aerojet Rocketdyne.