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Letter: Unreliable power

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Just when I thought that I had seen it all, I read in a Jan. 28 article in The Post and Courier that senior Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall and Air Force Secretary Deborah James were trying to defend to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee their use of Russian RD-180 rocket engines in U.S. military satellites.

They claim that they need to find equally capable American launch vehicles, which must be tested and fielded before the practice can be ended. Meanwhile, Ms. James has recommended a stockpile of 18 of the engines (at a cost of $30 million each).

Adding absurdity to the lunacy:

1) The U.S. contractor, United Launch Alliance, under contract with the Air Force to launch military and spy satellites, along with Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has opposed the recommendations of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which views Russia as the chief geopolitical threat to the U.S., putting U.S. national security in jeopardy.

2) Two Russians targeted by U.S. sanctions, with positions in Russia’s space and defense industry (Sergey Chemezov and Dmitry Rogozin), will profit personally from this arrangement.

3) The manufacturer of the engines, NPO Energomash, is owned primarily by the Russian government and controlled by many of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle of closest friends.

It appears common sense isn’t so common after all.

Lesa Wineglass-Smalls

Ashley River Road


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