Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RD-180 Replacement Completes Design Review

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s planned replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 rocket, in use in military launches, passed its critical design review, the company announced Monday. The 500,000-pound thrust, liquid-fueled rocket, known as AR1, is planned for flight in 2019 as part of a Congressional mandate to replace the RD-180 with a US-made engine. The design review proves the company finalized its design and confirms it meets requirements for National Security Space missions, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO Eileen Drake said in a release. The Air Force has awarded contracts to Aerojet Rocketdyne, United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Orbital ATK for development work on possible RD-180 replacements with a congressionally mandated 2019 deadline for deciding on the replacement.