Italian company AVIO bought “Made in Ukraine” rocket engines

The Italian company Avio SpA, Yuzhnoye State Design Office and Yuzhmash (Yuzhny Machine-Building plant) reached an agreement on additional supply of 10 Ukrainian-made propulsion engine blocks for the Vega launch vehicle for a total amount of EUR 6 million, roughly.

The agreement was disclosed by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and confirmed by the press release of Avio SpA, owned by the American group General Electric.

The expansion of participation in the European Vega program testifies to the reliability and competition of engineering developments in the Ukrainian rocket and space industry. Support of such contracts is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the efforts of Ukrainian diplomats in Italy played an important role in reaching this agreement.

Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

According to Chief Economist at Yuzhmash Dmytro Nikon, the current contract contains an option providing for the manufacture of additional 10 units.

We are thankful to the Ukrainian diplomats who kept the case under control, repeatedly contacted both the company’s management and representatives of the Italian Space Agency, which led to a positive result.

Dmytro Nikon, Chief Economist of Yuzhmash

The Chief Designer of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines of the Yuzhnoye State Design Office Oleksandr Prokopchuk said that cooperation with Avio SpA is a clear example of the integration of the Ukrainian rocket and space industry into European space programmes.

According to the press release, the current contract for the supply of 10 propulsion engine blocks is effective until 2023. Seven blocks have already been delivered, one will be shipped to the customer in the near future, and three more are being manufactured.

The Vega light launch vehicle is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. Yuzhnoye State Design Office and Yuzhmash cooperate with the Italian Avio SpA under the Vega program since 2004, during this time more than 20 propulsion engine blocks were manufactured and delivered, the last of which were at the beginning of 2021.

A feature of the propulsion engine blocks is the ability to launch multiple times during flight (up to five launches), which ensures the deployment of satellites into different orbits. Italy is one of the founding countries of the European Space Agency and is among the top three contributors along with Germany and France.

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