Schafer Corporation’s Mike Griffin will be a participating board member to the RD-180 Availability Risk Mitigation Study for the Department of the Air Force. The board is comprised of distinguished members from the Air Force, Navy, OSD, NASA, and NRO and will provide key insight into the study. This review was originally discussed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel with the House Armed Services Committee on 13 March 2014. The study will focus on the issues, risks, costs and options regarding the use of Russian-made RD-180 engines on the Atlas V launch vehicle due to the current situation between Russia and the United States from the recent events in Ukraine. There is concern surrounding the availability of RD-180 engines to the United States for the continued future.
The RD-180 and Atlas V are part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program which provides the United States with critical space-lift capability to support the DoD and National Space Security (NSS) missions. The study will examine multiple scenarios regarding availability of RD-180 engines, long-term mitigation options to meet launch requirements for NSS missions, leverage existing data and studies and seek out new data, and recommendations for a way-ahead.
The findings from the study will be briefed to the Secretary of the Air Force Acquisition (SAF/AQ), Dr. William LaPlante, and subsequently to the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF), Deborah Lee James, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD AT&L), Frank Kendall.