In a recent press release, the Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant (Yuzhmash) has confirmed the media reports that the company has bought aluminum from a supplier in Russia.
Yuzhmash also said that the journalists’ speculation about the purpose of the purchase was correct, namely that the aluminum in question will be used to make the basic structure of the first stage of an Antares launch vehicle.
“We report furthermore that the number of Yuzhmash’s suppliers is in the hundreds. They represent dozens of European and Asian countries, including former Soviet countries, among them the Baltics, Belarus, Russia and others,” the company said in a statement.
Yuzhmash says that it “actively implements measures to diversify supply sources, even in the manner of import substitution with domestically produced products, which is not always possible”.
“In many cases, the origin of the material is indicated directly in the design and operational documentation, and cannot be changed by the manufacturer independently. This is the situation with the purchase in question. However, diversification is also possible in this case, but it requires a large amount of additional work from the developer and, accordingly, sizable expenses for the client,” the statement explains.
The company emphasized that it is not in a position to influence this process, and drew attention to the fact that the international and Ukrainian sanctions on Russia do not apply to cooperation related to the peaceful use of space in the context of international space projects.
On January 26, the Ukrainian publication Nashi Groshi (“Our Money”) reported that Yuzhmash had signed a contract to purchase $1.74 million worth of aluminum from the Russian company Alpha-Metal.