U.S. markets open in 6 hours 55 minutes
  • S&P Futures

    3,886.25
    -12.50 (-0.32%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    31,430.00
    -79.00 (-0.25%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,235.25
    -44.50 (-0.34%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,260.50
    -14.30 (-0.63%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    59.99
    -0.65 (-1.07%)
     
  • Gold

    1,718.80
    -4.20 (-0.24%)
     
  • Silver

    26.25
    -0.43 (-1.60%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2015
    -0.0045 (-0.37%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4460
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    23.35
    -4.60 (-16.46%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3877
    -0.0043 (-0.31%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    106.8580
    +0.1280 (+0.12%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    48,707.36
    +2,410.75 (+5.21%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    977.80
    -8.85 (-0.90%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,588.53
    +105.10 (+1.62%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    29,408.17
    -255.33 (-0.86%)
     

U.S. Air Force awards rocket engine development contracts

WASHINGTON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force on Monday awarded contracts worth more than $160 million to two separate firms involved in the development of a new rocket engine to help the United States end its dependence on Russian rocket engines for national security space launches.

The Air Force awarded a $115 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, California, for the development of the AR1 rocket propulsion system prototype.

It awarded a $46.6 million contract to a subsidiary of United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, for the development of the Vulcan BE-4 and Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage rocket propulsion system prototypes.

The two firms are part of a public-private partnership to jointly develop the AR1 engine, Aerojet said in a statement. It said the total value of the deal is valued at $804 million, with the Air Force providing two-thirds of the funding required to complete the AR1 by 2019.

A Pentagon statement said the two contracts implement a 2015 law that requires the development of a next-generation rocket propulsion system to end the U.S. military's dependence on the Russian-supplied RD-180 rocket engine.

United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, buys RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rockets from RD-AMROSS, which is a U.S.-based joint venture of Energomash, a Russian firm, and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Alan Crosby)