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It took hard lobbying and heavy political lifting, but 800 high-paying Pratt & Whitney jobs have been saved in northern Palm Beach County.
The announcement Tuesday clears the way for the Space Propulsion Division to begin developing a U.S.made version of a Russian engine for the Atlas-3 EELV (evolved, expendable launch vehicle).
The division already makes upperstage rocket engines for the Atlas, Titan and Delta rockets, as well as liquid oxygen turbo pumps.
The new rocket's test stands at the North Palm Beach facility will be under construction in early 2000, with actual testing beginning in 2002. Rocket delivery, from U.S. production, is scheduled to begin in 2004. The company projects that the RD 180 will command important market share for at …