The Moscow Arbitration Court received two lawsuits against the State Space Research and Production Center. M. V. Khrunichev (GKNPTs). The plaintiff is the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. According to Kommersant, it is the Khrunichev plant that produces the Proton and Angara launch vehicles.
The case card does not contain information about the requirements and claims of the military, however, it is said that the amount of one claim is 636.2 million rubles, the second - 390 million rubles. The lawsuits were filed with the court on December 2, but have not yet been accepted for consideration.
GKNPTs, according to the contract concluded earlier with the military, must supply them with four Angara-A5 missiles in 2022-2024. Kommersant also recalls that Russia will operate Proton-M launch vehicles until 2025.
Proton-M is associated with a major scandal and proceedings against the GKNPTs and its partner JSC RSC Energia. In 2010, the Proton-M accident occurred, destroying three GLONASS-M satellites that the rocket was supposed to put into orbit. The case was initiated by the Investigative Committee against employees of RSC Energia, which launched a rocket manufactured at the Khrunichev plant.
Four engineers were charged with committing a crime under Part 2 of Art. 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of authority that entailed grave consequences). The prosecution argued that the engineers were aware of the use of a new upper stage, but did not make changes to the documentation of the formula that calculates the level of oxidizer charge for this type of upper stage. As a result, the required mass of liquid oxygen was exceeded by 1582 kg, which did not allow the rocket to put into orbit three satellites that sank in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. Damage from the accident was estimated at 4.3 billion rubles.
However, criminal cases were not opened immediately. The first reaction of the officials was to report that nothing terrible had happened. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the incident will not significantly affect the operation of the Russian space navigation system, since Russia has 26 more satellites. At that time, the head of Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, gave an interview in which he said that what happened was "not a disaster at all." This was followed by criticism from the Kremlin, a reprimand to Perminov and the dismissal of his deputy. The head of Roskosmos himself remained in office - he was not fired six months before reaching the age limit.
In 2015, the Ministry of Defense recovered 1.8 billion rubles from the GKNPTs after another Proton-M accident in 2013. The plaintiff demanded to pay him damages in the amount of the cost of the launch vehicle, head fairing and other equipment lost as a result of the accident.