According to Alexander Medvedev, chief designer of launch vehicles and one of the ideologists of the Angara rocket, the upcoming decline in the production of Proton-M rockets will increase their cost by 2 or 2.5 times. Medvedev believes that the Proton-M rocket price can equal that of Angara-A5, which, according to the Federal Space Program for 2016-2025, costs about $51,3 million. The Proton-M cost price in the Program is set at $20,5 million.
‘Our calculations showed that the decline in the production of Proton-M launch vehicles from 7 to 1 or 2 rockets per year would increase its cost by approximately 2 or 2.5 times and would reach the cost of Angara-A5 rocket’s first prototype’, Mr Medvedev wrote in his article for the TsNIIMash rocket and spacecraft scientific center journal ‘Cosmonautics and rocket science’. Medvedev also noted that the production of the first Angara-A5 prototype took three years, and all expenses were included in the cost price.
On June 22, Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the Roscosmos State Corporation, said that he had set the task to cease the production of Proton launch vehicles after fulfilling the existing contracts, but he did not mention the exact date for the ceasing of the Proton production. According to the Kommersant newspaper, the new Roscosmos administration expects to cease the production of Proton rockets by 2021, although the initial date was 2025.