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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Engine Exported to U.S. Firm

U.S. company Pratt & Whitney has taken delivery of a top-of-the-line rocket engine -- the first working Russian engine exported to the United States -- made by Moscow's Energomash, a spokesman for the American company said Wednesday.


The U.S. company will study and demonstrate the RD-120 engine in preparation for the planned joint development of a modified version of the engine -- the RD-120M.


The engine will be used to propel a new American booster rocket, the Pac Astro, said Tatyana Anikolenko, project manager at United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney's parent company.


"This is the first time in history a Russian engine, actively in production, has been brought to the United States," she said.


According to Nikolai Sudakov, head of Energomash's foreign trade department, after the joint venture agreement has been signed by the two companies later this year, four RD-120Ms engines will be delivered to Pratt & Whitney in the United States by 1998.


United Technologies estimates that there will be demand for about 15 of the new engines by the year 2000.


Sudakov said the engines are more competitive than Western rivals in terms of both fuel consumption and price.


"Our engines are 15 percent to 20 percent more economical [to run] than American prototypes and will be quite competitive," said Sudakov.


He also said that the new Russian rocket would likely sell for much less than the approximately $8 million charged for a similar U.S. rocket engine.


The rocket engines will be produced at factories in both Russia and Ukraine.


United Technologies has already invested $200 million in the Russian economy, the company says.