14:30 Apr. 29, 2016
Russian rocket engine purchase sparks debate in Washington
Lawmakers in the U.S. are contemplating purchasing Russian rocket engines. One U.S. Congressman says his country should not contribute to Russia's military modernization. The Republican representative Duncan Hunter made the statement during the talks in the House of Representatives' Defence Committee. Hunter insisted the Pentagon should not purchase Russian rocket engines, even for the sake of the U.S. space industry.
"There is no single reason for filling Putin's personal pockets with our money. There is no urgency in buying 18 units right now, hence, we could buy no more than 10. Please take into account that advocating this bargain you simply provide Russia's war industry with foreign investments," stressed the Republican Congressman.
In March 2016, U.S. Air Force's Secretary Deborah James stated refusing Russia's rocket engines may cost Washington to lose nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars since the engines are necessary to launch U.S. satellites. Ms James also added the U.S. Air Force is currently developing own engine models but more time is needed to try them out.
Earlier the head of the U.S. Committee on Armed Services John McCain also claimed the U.S.A. must stop their dependency on Russian rocket engines.
After Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the United States launched sanctions against Moscow, among them the prohibition to buy Russian rocket engines. Eventually, the restriction was softened because of the high costs.
McCain now demands that the bill on partially cancelling the sanctions be banned.