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Russia Moves Production of Rocket Fuel Tanks Out of Ukraine

The production of high-pressure fuel tanks used in Russian rocket engines is being moved from Ukraine to Russia, as the country's seeks to modernize its defense industry and wean itself off of space components built in Ukraine.

The Voronezh Mechanical Factory said Tuesday in an online statement that it had been allocated a billion rubles ($27.6 million) from the federal budget to start producing the high-pressure fuel tanks used to feed liquid-fuel rocket engines.

Their manufacture requires a high degree of precision, and those produced by Yuzhmash — a massive defense firm in Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine — are used in rocket engines that power the venerable Proton and brand-new Angara rocket, as well as boosters like the Briz-M.

The factory will be producing four types of titanium sphere tanks with volumes from 25 liters to 130 liters and is expecting to launch production in 2016 with a target of 100 titanium tanks produced annually, the statement said.

The industrial equipment manufacturer estimated it would need 190 million rubles to begin production and an additional 900 million to reach a target of 550 tanks produced annually by 2023.

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