Energomash sold Russian rocket engines to Americans for half the cost of their production
Billions in losses for our country turned into deliveries of Russian rocket engines to America. Auditors of the Accounts Chamber (SP), which conducted an audit of NPO Energomash, found that the Russian RD-180 rocket engines for the American Atlas 5 launch vehicles were sold at half the cost of their production. Only in 2008 – 2009, losses from such “successful” sales amounted to about 900 million rubles - almost 70% of all losses of Energomash. This is not all. Our engines helped America continue to deploy its missile defense system.
The former management of “Energomash” considers the checking of the Accounts Chamber to be nothing more than revenge. As a confirmation - some strange история with extortion of a large bribe, which the inspectors allegedly demanded four years ago, never ended. It is strange that the auditors had to wait for four years to “get revenge” by the time the CEO had already been dismissed from the post, who also quite safely completed the year before 2010, finally writing out a bonus of 100 annual salaries of the Energomash worker to his team of directors. It was rumored that Pakhomov was fired allegedly because he ignored the instructions of the former head of Roscosmos, Anatoly Perminov, about integrating the enterprise with RSC Energia. If the order were executed, Energia would have gained competitive advantages to the detriment of other Russian rocket firms. And most importantly, Pakhomov de believed that the transfer of the state enterprise Energomash (more than 80% of the state’s shares) to the private RSC Energia (more than 70% of the shares of private owners) should be carried out in compliance with the laws on privatization of strategic enterprises. For what, they say, with the general and settled accounts. The only question is whether this is in fact the case.
Indeed, the main share of the share capital of NPO Energomash OJSC belongs to the state represented by the Federal Property Management Agency. “But there are some subtleties,” explains Sergey Ryabukhin, the auditor of the Accounts Chamber, “because until recently the actual management of the company was carried out by the management company, which simultaneously owned the 20-percentage stake in the company. The owners of this company have changed several times. And the state managed to establish control over NPO Energomash only at the end of 2010 of the year. ”
In other words, until the state grabbed at the same time the head and the pocket, counting the losses, everything went fine. And the management of Energomash had no desire to transfer the RSC Energia company, which is so convenient in terms of control, with a much more efficient non-governmental management, which could instantly uncover all the problems of Energomash. And much faster than the Accounting Chamber did. The lack of control gave much more bonuses than the game together with “Energy”. Hence the reluctance to interact, which eventually led to a conflict with Roskosmos and Perminov personally.
By the way, the modernization of NGOs would have to be carried out in a more transparent mode - a private person would never close his eyes to what the state was closing on. In particular, the audit showed that of the 2,5 billion rubles, which the state transferred to the modernization of "Energomash", a targeted amount was not spent a penny. According to the auditor Sergey Ryabukhin, Energomash simply ignored the requirements and directives on the need to modernize the enterprise. But what happened to 2,5 billion rubles remains to be seen. It will be necessary to find out much more: let's say why the minority shareholder of the Region Group of Companies sabotaged the work in order to sell its stake to the state eight times more than its real value? The sabotage, oddly enough, ended very successfully: as a result, the value of the package owned by Region Group - which is the largest shareholder of Energomash after the state - has grown by a whole billion rubles! Against the background of such tricks, some other violations look quite small. For example, the managers entered into contracts with the plant for the rental of their own vehicles, which was used as a service, and received about 5 million rubles per year.
But it's all flowers. Berries, as it turned out, much more dangerous for the health of our country.
It is said that NPO Energomash began to cooperate with the Americans in 1995, with the personal mediation of Boris Yeltsin. In fact, it began a little earlier, in October 1992, when Energomash launched a partnership program of cooperation with Pratt & Whitney. At the same time, the Joint Marketing and Licensing Technology Agreement was signed with United Technologies Co and Pratt & Whitney. Energomash has designated these structures as its marketing representatives for the production, use or sale of propulsion systems and licensed technology for all programs and contracts in the United States.
Cooperation, however, went neither shaky nor shakily. In January 1994 of the year, NASA's Access to Space report for the first time mentioned the possibility of using Energomash engines as main propulsion engines. And in 1995, the Russian company filed an application to participate in the competition for engines for the then-new American Atlas IIAR launch vehicle. The competition was announced by Lockheed Martin Astronotix Corporation, and “friend Bill,” as Yeltsin called his American counterpart Clinton, had good personal connections with the leadership of this corporation. In general, Clinton put in a word, and NPO Energomash managed to beat all competitors in an unheard-of manner. Or maybe everything was different - our engines were really the best at that time, and not just the cheapest.
In Energomash, for example, they claim that the development of the RD-170 engine outpaced similar developments in the USA on 8 – 10 years. However, in January 1996, Lockheed Martin announced the selection of a RD-170 liquid-propellant rocket engine as the engine of the first stage of an Atlas IIAR launch vehicle.
So that readers can imagine what a rocket engine is, let's say that the weight of such a unit tends to 5,5 tons. Not only supernovae technological developments, but also super-expensive materials are involved in the engine. There is a version - it needs verification, but it is expressed by serious experts in the field of rocket technologies - that we got the contract with the Americans not least because of the low price of the RD-170 engines. Initially, such losses could be justified by dumping in order to conquer the market. But then they won the market and improved the engine, but as a result, the RD-180, which was supplied to the Americans in recent years, had to be at least 40% more expensive than the price specified in the contract with the Americans. Why was given a "discount", the question is open.
Formally, Russia does not participate in the US missile defense system. The other day, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen rejected the proposal of the Russian president to create a "sectoral" missile defense system with the participation of Russia and the division of responsibility.
“NATO cannot transfer responsibility for its security to a non-member of the alliance,” Secretary General Rasmussen explained at a subsequent briefing.
Nonetheless, our components, more specifically the mentioned engines, are involved in the missile defense system. But here's the trick: in return, we, of course, do not get the opportunity to control the process, but also lose money. After all, it was precisely the Russian RD-180 engines sold in the USA that sent the first satellite of the early detection system for ballistic missile launches SBIRS operating under the NATO missile defense system into space. At the same time, the RD-180 engines were developed and certified exclusively for use on American launch vehicles of the Atlas family. That is, our country - not without strange connivance from the leadership of Energomash - supplied the US with elements of a missile defense system, which now, according to Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, threatens the security of our country!
At the end of March 2011, Russia supplied the 53 engine to America. Six launches of Atlas 3 launch vehicles with RD-170 and 24 launch vehicles of Atlas 5 launch vehicles with RD-180 engines were carried out. All launches were successful, there were no comments regarding the operation of the engines. When Russian engines were used, the orbital apparatus was launched to study the lunar surface and the lunar crater research apparatus (LRO / LCROSS), the spacecraft to study the surface of Mars, the reconnaissance spacecraft Pluto and its satellite Charon within the program “Flight to Pluto”. This year, the Atlas 5 will launch the Yunona spacecraft flying to Jupiter and the Mars Science Laboratory.
And all this - at half price.
PS When the material was prepared for publication, it became known that in addition to the Accounts Chamber, the activities of Energomash became interested in the Prosecutor General's Office and the FSB. We will inform our readers about the future course of this unsightly story.
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