RUAG Space to supply composite payload fairings for H3 launch vehicle

The contract includes manufacturing of composite payload fairings and payload supporting structures for the H3 launch vehicle by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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RUAG Space (Decatur, Ala., U.S.; Bern, Switzerland) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI, Tokyo, Japan)  signed a contract for launch vehicle structures during the 35th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. on April 9.

The contract includes manufacturing of composite payload fairings and payload supporting structures for the H3 launch vehicle by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to be used for three resupply missions to the International Space Station.

The H3 is the new Japanese flagship launch vehicle, which is being developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Tokyo, Japan) and MHI to succeed the H-IIA and H-IIB rockets. The rocket will be 63 meters high with a diameter of 5.2 meters. RUAG Space composite payload fairings and supporting structures are planned to be used on three resupply missions to the International Space Station, which will be done by the HTV-X cargo spacecraft, with a first flight expected in in the Japanese Fiscal Year 2021. The HTV-X is a planned successor to the HTV Transport Vehicle, which has been used for resupplying the International Space Station since 2009. 

RUAG offers several sizes of payload fairings, from a diameter of 0.7m for small launch vehicles up to 5.4m fairings. RUAG Space also develops and produces interstage adapters and other payload supporting structures. All of these are built in composite technology based on aluminium honeycomb cores with with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFR) face sheets, providing a combination of high stiffness and low mass.