Ukraine’s rocket builder, with little government work, worries about future of Northrop Grumman, Avio contracts

by Peter B. de Selding

DNIPRO, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye/Yuzhmash rocket builder, whose production has been declining for years, is questioning its future once ongoing contracts with Northrop Grumman and Italy’s Avio expire.

Yuzhnoye/Yuzhmash is preparing to deliver two first-stage cores for Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket this year, with two more under contract. That takes production to 2021. Another order is considered likely but will depend on how long NASA and the International Space Station partners decided to maintain International Space Station (ISS) operations.

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