On April 28th, a Republican member of the U.S. Congress, Duncan Hunter, during a discussion in the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services stated that the United States shouldn’t support the military modernization of Russia by buying rocket engines to launch American military satellites.
“There is no reason to fill Putin’s pockets, when we don’t need 18 rocket engines right now. Do you see that when you vote for it, you will be contributing to Russian military modernization,” Duncan Hunter claims. In March, the United States Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah James, stated at a meeting of the U.S House Committee on Armed Forces that an immediate stop to the purchase of rocket engines from Russia for the American satellites can cost Washington an additional $5 billion.
According to her, the efforts by the United States Air Force on the development of its own rocket engines for space satellites are moving ahead. However, a ban on Russian RD-180 rocket engines would force them to choose other suppliers. Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain, insisted that the U.S.A. breaks the cycle of reliance on Russian rocket engines as soon as possible.
McCain stated that the draft bill would require restrictions that would ease the ban on the purchase of Russian rocket engines, imposed after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Washington eased the ban because of the high costs and complications in finding a replacement.