In 1999, Khrunichev requested KBKhA to develop RD-0146U version of the engine for Proton and Angara rockets. The development of the engine was partially financed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. Pratt & Whitney signed a preliminary marketing agreement on April 7, 2000 with Russia’s Chemical Automatics Design Bureau giving Pratt & Whitney exclusive international marketing rights to the RD-0146.
The RD-0146 is the first Russian rocket engine not to feature a gas generator and to be equipped with extendable nozzle extension without a cooling system. The engine is capable of multiple firings and thrust control in two planes. According to the developer, the lack of generator ensures high reliability of the engine for multiple firings.