State-owned enterprise Yuzhmash (Dnipro) is expanding its participation in various programs of the European Space Agency (ESA). The enterprise aims to supply another 20 cruise engines for the fourth stage of the European Vega light launch vehicle by 2020, the press service of the enterprise has informed, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
According to a post on its website, in 2017, Yuzhmash completed an agreement on production of nine cruise engines for the fourth stage of Vega vehicle under an order of Italy’s AVIO S.p.A. signed in 2014.
“In total, combined with the previous agreements, 16 units have been shipped,” the press service said.
“Another agreement to produce an additional 20 units was signed in 2017. Materials and integrated parts were purchased in 2017, while production will start in 2018,” the press service told.
The Vega was designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) for carrying satellites with a weight of up to 1,200 kilograms to a 1,2000-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit and satellites with a weight of 1,500 kilograms to a 700-kilometer polar orbit.
A contract to design and supply the cruise engine for the fourth stage of Vega LV between Pivdenne Design Bureau, Yuzhmash and Italy’s Avio SpA was signed in February 2004.
In April 2012, the parties signed an extendable three-year agreement with Avio SpA to supply first batch production engines. In 2017 the parties extended the contract until 2020.
The government of Ukraine and the European Space Agency signed an agreement on cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space in 2008, which was extended until 2019 in 2014. The European Space Agency unites 17 countries of Europe.