Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Technical Review
    Vol. 54 No. 4 (2017)   Aerospace Technology
    Technical Papers

    Development Status of H3 Launch Vehicle
    -To compete and survive in the global commercial market-

    Tokio Nara,
    Tadaoki Onga,
    Mayuki Niitsu,
    Junya Takida,
    Akihiro Sato,
    Nobuki Negoro

    The H3 launch vehicle is currently under development as Japan's next flagship launch vehicle, replacing the H-IIA/H-IIB. The objectives of the H3 launch vehicle are to ensure "competitiveness in the global commercial market" and "assured access to space," as well as to maintain and strengthen the country's industrial base by obtaining orders for commercial satellite launches. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) has organized the vehicle development as the primary contractor and taken charge of the development of the engine system. The development is currently in the middle of the detailed design phase and is progressing as planned toward the launch of the first vehicle in 2020. This report provides the development status, especially the development status of the engines along with their design features, which holds the key to the success of the entire project.