– Russia Retaliates: Blocks GPS, Bans US Use Of Its Rocket Engines (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2014):
Just as Russia had promised, sanctions were not effective and so they went straight to targeted bans. On the heels of The Pentagon admitting that they had “no solution” to replacing Russian rocket engines in the launch systems for US military satellites (as we have covered extensively), Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin this morning announced:
- *ROGOZIN: RUSSIA TO HALT U.S. GPS BASES IN RUSSIA ON JUNE 1:IFX
- *RUSSIAN BAN ON ROCKET USE FOR US MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCHES: IFX
He further added that Russia will not extend its partnership in the International Space Station beyond 2020 (which suggests Russia does not expect a quick resolution to the current tensions).
As RT reports,
Moscow is banning Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines, which the US has used to deliver its military satellites into orbit, said Russia’s Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of space and defense industries.
According to Rogozin, Russia is also halting the operation of all American GPS stations on its territory from June 1.
Russia currently hosts 11 ground-based GPS stations, the Deputy PM said.
The move comes after the US refused to place a signal correction station for Russia’s own space-based satellite navigation system, GLONASS, on American territory, he explained.
This is a major problem for the US military because (as Bloomberg reports),
The Pentagon has no “great solution” to reduce its dependence on a Russian-made engine that powers the rocket used to launch U.S. military satellites, the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer said.
“We don’t have a great solution,” Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, said yesterday after testifying before a Senate committee. “We haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Air Force to review its reliance on the rocket engine after tensions over Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region prompted questions from lawmakers about that long-time supply connection.
United Launch Alliance LLC, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., uses the Russian-made RD-180 engine on Atlas V rockets.
“The US is certainly one of the world’s leaders. At some point it seemed that it was the only leader and a uni-polar system was in place. Today it appears that is not the case. Everything in the world is interdependent and once you try to punish someone, in the end you will cut off your nose to spite your face,” he said.