Ukraine Helping South Korea, China and Canada With Rockets or Jets or Both

South Korea successfully launched a locally developed 75-ton space rocket engine which is comparable to a SpaceX Falcon 1. The orbital rocket KSLV-II (Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle) is also known as Nuri. The rocket is 25.8 meters tall and has a diameter of 2.6 meters and weighs more than 52 tons.

South Korean media did not discuss it but Ukrainian engineers and Ukrainian companies have provided a lot of assistance and cooperation on the design of the airframe and the engine technology.

The South Korean-Ukrainian rocket program should lead to a SpaceX Falcon 9 block 5 class rocket in perhaps ten years.

Ukrainian engineering was a significant part of the USSR air force, missile and rocket programs. Ukraine has the Zenit rocket and several other rocket designs.

Ukraine’s space industry flagships – the Yuzhnoye design office, the Yuzhny engineering plant and a number of leading aerospace companies in Kharkiv – ended up in direct proximity to the war zone.

In 2015, all defense contracts with Russia were suspended. Production of the Dnipro and Dnipro-1 rockets (modifications of the world-famous “Satan”) was frozen. The launch of the Lybid telecoms satellite was postponed indefinitely and the satellite itself is still in Russia. In 2015 Ukraine lost two international contracts at once: Sea Launch and the joint Ukrainian-Brazilian Alcantara project.

Now Ukraine rocket and airplane industry is coming back with deals with South Korea, Canada and China.

Ukrainian Engineering is the Secret Sauce for many Chinese rockets and military planes

Ukrainian sources are in the background helping many countries with rocket and aviation developments.

Ukraine is one of 10 countries with full-cycle rocket production capabilities, and in the years before the crisis of 2014 its aerospace companies earned over $600 million for the government annually.

China first twelve JL-10s trainer jets are powered by Ukrainian jet engines. The supersonic trainer is also known as the L-15. The deal for trainer engines was concluded in 2016 with Ukraine’s Motor Sich company in Zaporizhzhya when the first 20 engines were supplied. The $380 million deal calls for a total of 250 engines for the trainers. Ukraine recently delayed China’s attempt to buy Motor Sich.

China remains a major arms buyer from Ukraine. In addition to JL-15 engines, recent Ukraine-China arms transfers have included some 50 diesel engines for tanks, and gas turbines for Luyang-2 and Luyang-3 guided missile destroyers.

In 2009, China bought two large Zubr-class hovercraft landing ships that were shipped to China shortly before Russia launched its covert military takeover of the Crimean peninsula.

Two more landing craft will be built in China under Ukrainian supervision. China also spent $45 million in 2016 to Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom for three Il-78M aerial refueling tankers.

The Chinese navy said in a statement last week that the JL-10s were commissioned in a ceremony at the Naval Aviation University in Shandong province.

The twin-engine JL-10 is powered by two Ukraine-made Ivchenko-Progress AI-222-25F turbofan engines. The jet is used for training Chinese navy pilots to flight the J-15 carrier-based fighter jet.

Canada’s Spaceport and Rocket Program

The developers of Canada’s only commercial spaceport are shooting for as many as a dozen rockets to blast off per year from a proposed site near Canso, a small community on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore.

Rocket designers and engineers from Ukrainian-based Yuzhnoye Design are helping Canada’s Maritime Launch Service with Cyclone 4 rockets.

The Ukrainian firm is prepared to ramp up its production of Cyclone-4M medium-lift rockets to supply the site.

Ukraine has great jet engine, missile and space rocket know-how. It has only been lack of financing which has been holding them back.

A Ukrainian airplane and rocket industry with solid commercial success would enable Ukraine to start following the Israeli model of industrial development.

15 thoughts on “Ukraine Helping South Korea, China and Canada With Rockets or Jets or Both”

  1. Korea has obtained RD-190 tech from overseas scientist and built a prototype so Korea would have no problem in developing larger rockets. It should be assumed that Korea has plenty of know-how related to the Satan rocket as it launched the science satellite 3 from a russian silo and Ukraine provided the related technology for the nuri rocket. Thus, it is safe to assume that Korea is ICBM capable, including the makeshift solid rocket that can be made from 6 SLBs for the Turtle missiles.

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  2. How much money exactly? AFAIK they are not selling any products (like engines or complete launch vehicles) just designs and know-how – worst thing you could do if you ask me.
    With that knowledge anyone with skilled engineers (especially China and South Korea) won’t need Ukrainians any more.

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  3. yes, but it gives them money, contacts with indsutry of other countries. Small beginnings… while being dependent on contracts from Russia was doing 0 for their development. China is the same. SK, India, Brazil, Canada, Italy or UK for that matter… Israel… there are many good options.

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  4. Might be, might be not. Right now it’s just wishful thinking and instead of products they sell out their technology and (even worse) know-how. Almost exactly like with An-225.

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  5. Countries that run big trade surpluses with us might want to buy our services instead of remaking their own launch service.

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  6. The KRE-075 kerolox rocket engine developed for KSLV-II is similar in size and about 15% less powerful than the SpaceX Merlin 1D.

    If South Korea really wants to develop a competitive medium lifter, they can conceivably develop a booster that arranges 9 of those KRE-075 engines in an octaweb configuration, and with enough fuel margins, experiment with booster recovery. Elon Musk already blazed the trail, all they have to do is follow what has already been shown to work.

    I see some nice potential there with the KRE-075.

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  7. But for those polar orbits Canso is one of the better possible launch sites with *lots* of open ocean to the south. If you want to launch into an orbit only a bit more than 45° inclined to the equator (45° is the latitude of Canso) like sending supplies to the ISS, the open ocean to the east helps too.
    All the islands east of Korea are a drawback for launch sites there.

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  8. The article never claimed Ukraine has new stuff.  The fact is old Soviet stuff is still marketable for now.  As money will come to Ukraine’s defense companies they will get to developing new stuff.  Plus they already started modernizing some soviet systems.

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  9. Not much groundbreaking work while being starved of financial resources and now at war with Russia.  Russia with all the oil money is doing exactly the same thing “recycling old (like 25 years or older) designs they inherited from the fallen empire”

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  10. Ukrainian engineering…. Post soviet engineering you surely meant? Scientists and engineers who worked there, came from the whole Soviet Union.
    Don’t get me wrong, I wish them well, but all they do is recycling old (like 25 years or older) designs they inherited from the fallen empire. Not much groundbreaking work there any more, other than some incremental improvements……

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  11. From Korea’s and Canada’s northern latitudes, only certain (polar) orbits are feasible.
    Israelis don’t really do space launch anymore (cheaper and easier to outsource)

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