Jump to content



Photo

Boeing sues Sea Launch partners, incl. Russian companies


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:08

The excrement is hitting the fan in the wake of the latest Zenit / Sea Launch failure.

Just as Sea Launch, and its 95% Russian owners, suffered a massive failure in the last Zenit launch. This puts the two of the largest Russian aerospace companies at risk.

Analysis at Parabolic Arc....

>
>
NPO Energomash being pushed to the brink of insolvency is very bad. The company makes a range of engines for different launch vehicles, including the RD-180 used in United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V. That rocket is crucial for U.S. national security, and for NASA’s commercial crew program.

Meanwhile, Energia might already be essentially bankrupt. That company is so crucial to Russia’s space efforts, especially in terms of maintaining and supplying the International Space Station. And now its being sued for more than $200 million by Boeing.

All of this information provides a new perspective on the Russian government’s efforts to streamline and consolidate the nation’s space effort. If Energia and Energomash can’t make money under the current setup, then something is seriously wrong. The interesting question is whether consolidating the industry under the control of the government — as has been proposed — will save the industry or accelerate its decline.


http://mobile.reuter...130204?irpc=932

Boeing sues Sea Launch partners for $350 million

* Suit targets Russian, Ukrainian partners

* Satellite launch service filed for bankruptcy in 2009


By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Boeing Co has sued its Russian and Ukrainian partners in satellite launch service Sea Launch, saying they refused to pay it more than $350 million following the joint-venture's bankruptcy filing in 2009.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Friday, targeted RSC Energia, a company partially owned by the Russian government, and two Ukrainian state-owned companies, PO Yuzhnoye Mashinostroitelny Zavod and KB Yuzhnoye.

Boeing said it partnered with the companies, as well as Norway's Kvaerner Moss Technology, in 1995 to create Sea Launch, which focuses on launching commercial satellites into space.

The U.S. aerospace company said it provided substantial funding for the venture, and the partners agreed that, if it failed, they would reimburse Boeing their share of the funding.

Sea Launch sent its first satellite into space in 1999, but filed for bankruptcy in 2009 because of weaker demand, mounting debt and a failed launch that led to a $53.2 million arbitration award against the company, Boeing said in its complaint.

Sea Launch emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. As part of the plan of reorganization, a subsidiary of RSC Energia increased its ownership to 95 percent from 25 percent, the lawsuit said. Boeing and Kvaerner, now called Aker Maritime Finance AS, split the remaining 5 percent.

In its complaint, Boeing said RSC Energia, also called S.P. Koroley Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, tried to avoid liability to Boeing and Aker.

LOAN GUARANTEES

When Sea Launch filed for bankruptcy, the banks that financed the company made calls on loan guarantees, forcing Boeing to pay out $449 million.

Boeing said RSC Energia and the Ukrainian companies are required to pay their share of that sum. It initially pursued reimbursement through an arbitration filed in 2009 with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, but in 2010 the arbitrator said it lacked jurisdiction. The case is now before the Swedish Court of Appeal.

Boeing said in its new lawsuit that RSC Energia owed at least $222.3 million and the Yuzhnoye companies owed at least $133.4 million.

Boeing said in its most recent quarterly report in October that, in the event it cannot recover the money, it will incur pre-tax charges of up to $356 million.

John Dern, a spokesman for Boeing, declined to comment. A spokesman for Sea Launch also did not respond to a request for a comment. A spokeswoman for the Yuzhnoye companies declined to comment on Monday and representatives for RSC Energia were not available for a comment.

The case is The Boeing Company v. KB Yuzhnoye, et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 13-00730.




#2 Crisp

Crisp

    To infinity and beyond

  • 5,504 posts
  • Joined: 06-May 10
  • Location: 127.0.0.1

Posted 05 February 2013 - 14:42

I'm not really clued up on how a company can sue another from a different country, but doesn't the insurance cover it?

#3 OP DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 05 February 2013 - 17:06

Sea Launch was incorporated in the US, so Boeing has a better shot here than in Russia. Insurance on the dailed launch has nothing to do with the contractual obligations of the partners - this was decided before the recent failure.

#4 OP DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:15

Correction: Sea Launch is registered in the Cayman Islands, but its bankruptvy after the 2007 debacle was a Chapter 11 in the US. Boeing can still file here because of its interests.

#5 vetneufuse

neufuse

    Neowinian Senior

  • 16,982 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 04

Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:19

Correction: Sea Launch is registered in the Cayman Islands, but its bankruptvy after the 2007 debacle was a Chapter 11 in the US. Boeing can still file here because of its interests.


Cayman Islands, ha.. classy....

#6 OP DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 05 February 2013 - 19:28

There's a good reason to - all through the recent mess with bank after bank in trouble those in the Caymans are among the most stable in the world. That and their laws follow the KISS principle, not like in the US etc. where companies spend a big part of their operating costs doing an ever changing paper chase.

#7 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:59

This may not be the last lawsuit if the Russians don't get their act together.

#8 OP DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:23

There was a Russian language report yesterday that they suspect the onboard power source in the first stage of the Zenit that failed. Sounds like the QA/QC people again. This is getting old. All the more reason for NASA to fund at least 2 of the 3 commercial crew spacecraft (redundancy) - we need to get our people off their birds.

We also need the US to wean itsell off Russian engines and follow through with the idea of putting an upgravede version of Saturn V's mighty F1 back into production (the F1A.) That or exercise our contract option to produce the Atlas V's RD-180 engines here instead of buying Russian made units. I vote for the F1A.

#9 +zhiVago

zhiVago

    Pax Orbis

  • 9,319 posts
  • Joined: 04-October 01
  • Location: The Heartland
  • OS: Windows Seven

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:07

It looks like Boeing is butthurt they don't own any shares of this highly profitable and successful company anymore and they are now using the latest incident as an opportunity to redeem themselves.

In it's entire history, Sea Launch has had 35 launches, three of which failed.

It's also worth mentioning that prior to Chapter 11, the company was managed by an American, who now heads Space-X. So it's no wonder it went bankrupt, the guy milked it.

#10 OP DocM

DocM

    Neowinian Senior

  • 18,107 posts
  • Joined: 31-July 10
  • Location: Michigan

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:26

Boeing has losses the other partners were supposed to cover and didn't, so they have every right to recover them.

Sea Launch provides a launch platform and logistics, but Energia / Energomash etc. provide the Zenit rockets which are what's failing due to QC/QA problems. Zenit's overall failure rate is now 15%, which is horrible. Just counting Zenit 3 it's still almost 10%, 4 fails in 42 launches, which while better is still horrid.

SpaceX is run full time by Elon Musk, who has had zero to do with Sea Launch. And as noted, Sea Launch is more a logistics & platform provider than a hardware provider, and the Russian hardware is the problem. Who was operating the bus when the baggage exploded is irrelevant.