AIRSHOW-Lockheed says rocket launch venture hinges on U.S. law waiver

PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp issued a warning on Sunday over the viability of its rocket launch joint venture with Boeing Co, saying the venture urgently needed the United States to waive a law banning the use of Russian engines to launch military and spy satellites.

Rick Ambrose, who heads Lockheed’s space business, told Reuters in an interview that concerns about the United Launch Alliance (ULA) venture’s prospects had prompted the partners to approve funding for its new U.S.-powered Vulcan rocket only one quarter at time.

He said it was “prudent” for the partners to proceed cautiously, given uncertainty about both ULA’s ability to use its Russian-powered Atlas 5 rocket for military and intelligence satellites, and growing competition in the commercial market. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter)