Boeing sues Russian, Ukrainian space companies seeking $350 mln
MOSCOW, February 5 - RAPSI. Boeing has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in the amount of $350 million with interest still accruing against two Russian and Ukrainian space transportation giants who the company claims are obligated to reimburse Boeing for its investment in Sea Launch Co., a sea-based platform specializing in commercial satellite launches that applied for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2009, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The lawsuit was reportedly filed in a US federal district court in California against Ukrainian company Yuzhnoye SDO and the Russian S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (Energia). The complaint alleges that the Ukrainian and Russian companies breached their duty to reimburse Boeing in case of the satellite launch venture’s failure.
Bloomberg quoted Boeing as having stated: “Yuzhnoye and Energia owe Boeing and BCSC more than $350 million, with interest continuing to accrue daily… Instead of paying claims to which they have no defense on the merits, Yuzhnoye and Energia have decided to stall and evade, forcing plaintiffs to chase them around the world to secure payment of debts clearly owed.”
According to Sea Launch’s website, it was established as a joint partnership in 1995 between Boeing (40%), RSC Energia (25%), Kvaemer (20%) and Yuzhmash and Yushnoye (15%).
Its first launch was carried out in 1999. Ten years later, it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the US.
In 2010, Energia affiliate Energia Overseas Limited acquired 95% ownership of the newly reorganized Sea Launch Sarl. The remaining 5% share is held indirectly by Boeing and Aker USA.
According to its website, Energia is Russia’s leading rocket-space enterprise, as well as the country’s leader in manned space systems. The company has been operating within the field since 1946 and has “initiated practically all lines of activity related to national rocket and space technology.”
Yuzhnoye SDO traces its origins to 1951, when a Ukrainian auto factory was converted into a missile production plant. Today Yuzhnoye is tasked primarily with creating and operating space-rocket technology, but has branched out to the fields of renewable energy, transportation, and agricultural machinery as well.