Air Force seeks rethink of 2019 deadline for new U.S. rocket engine

February 25, 2015 6:37 PM

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday said it will release plans within months for replacing the Russian-built RD-180 motors that now power some rockets used to launch military satellites into space, but said it would likely miss a 2019 congressional deadline to start using a new U.S. engine.

Air Force Secretary Deborah James told the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee that failure to extend the 2019 deadline could lead to swapping one monopoly provider of rocket launches for military satellites for another.

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