Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2015
Total Production: 60
Unitary Cost: USD$50 million
Origin: Russia
Corporations: NPO Energomash
Parent System: RD-180
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1999
Total Production: 161
Family Members: RD-180
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Description: The RD-181 is a liquid fuel space rocket developed based upon the RD-191 rocket engine to power the first stage of the United States Orbital Antares medium class space launch vehicle. Each Antares rocket uses two RD-181 engines at its first stage as replacement for two Soviet NK-33 engines in the original design. The Antares mission on October 28, 2014, crashed resulting in the development of an upgraded Antares utilizing the more reliable RD-181 dual-engine layout. The new engine was developed independently by Energomash combining the RD-191 engine technologies and the RD-180 engine family reliability. Energomash and Orbital signed a contract for the supply of up to 60 RD-181 engines for the Antares program on December 17, 2014. So far a $1 billion contract is in place for 20 engines with two contract options for 20 engines each. The first launch of the upgraded Antares rocket equipped with RD-181 engines is scheduled for late 2015 and the entry into service of the RD-181 powered Antares in 2016.

RD-181 Applications

Space Systems Antares

RD-181 Specifications

Combustion Chambers: 1
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

RD-181 News

There are 2 news between
16 Jan 2015 and 15 Oct 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016US to Buy Additional RD-180 and RD-181 Russian Space Rocket Engines
Friday, January 16, 2015Russia, US Sign Contract on RD-181 Rocket Engine Deliveries

Operators & Related Equipment


Grand Total 601
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