ULA to announce selection of Blue Origin engine for new Vulcan rocket

NewSpace Watch
September 27, 2018

Wall Street Journal confirms that ULA will selected Blue Origin‘s LOX/Methane BE-4 engine to power the Vulcan rocket instead of Aerojet’s LOX/Kerosene AR1. The official announcement is expected later today.:

From WSJ:

Negotiations between United Launch and Blue Origin dragged on for months, with both sides bargaining hard over price, delivery schedules and production reliability. Other hurdles, according to two people familiar with the details, included United Launch’s concerns about relying on a prospective rival for its most important engine supply. It couldn’t be learned what provisions were hammered out.

The New Glenn project emerged in 2016, two years after ULA unveiled the Vulcan design and the partnership with Blue to use the BE-4 for the first stage. While initially downplaying the use of New Glenn for Defense payloads, Blue official later made it clear that the rocket would compete for such contracts. So it will certainly be interesting to see “what provisions were hammered out” to deal with this conflict of interests.

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