P120C, work in progress
The first Booster Case of the new P120C Solid Rocket Motor has recently completed manufacturing and successfully passed mechanical load and pressure testing at the Avio plant in Colleferro. Over the past few weeks, this first article has travelled to the European Spaceport in Kourou (French Guyana) where it is currently being prepared for inert propellant casting in Regulus (also a joint venture between Avio and the Ariane Group).
The P120C is the new first stage motor common to the new generation European launchers Ariane 6 and Vega C and it is jointly developed by Avio and the Ariane Group under their joint venture Europropulsion. It is the largest monolithic carbon fiber solid rocket motor ever built, with solid propellant mass of 142 tons. The first article of this new motor will perform a static firing test in 2018, supporting the development schedule that will enable a first flight of Vega C by 2019 and Ariane 6 by 2020.