Russia has reportedly begun work on building the Soyuz-5 rocket (Irtysh), to replace Ukrainian built Zenit launch vehicles, by the middle of next year.
In 2018, Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities had signed a deal worth $8.1 million (61.2 billion rubles) contract with Rocket and Space Corporation Energia for the design and testing of Soyuz-5, which will be developed and manufactured by Progress Space Centre.
According to Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Baranov – “At the start of next year we will get a new aluminum alloy  that we will use to make a small number of testing samples, and I think that by the middle of the year , possibly, we will already start making designs specifically for the launch vehicle.”
As reported earlier by the Eurasian Times, Roscosmos had begun work on the Soyuz-6 carrier rocket, with its conceptual design being jointly done with Energia Space Rocket Corporation.
The Press Office of Progress Space Rocket Centre, while speaking about the rocket, had said – “This year, the Progress Space Rocket Centre is being involved in the work to develop materials of a scientific and technical report on the Soyuz-6 carrier rocket. The conceptual design of the launch vehicle is being worked out jointly with the main contractor, the Energia Space Rocket Corporation,”
Roscosmos is a Samara-based Progress Space Centre of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research.
The Soyuz family of Russian expendable launch systems, which are developed by OKB-1 and manufactured by Progress Rocket Space Centre in Samara, are the most frequently used launch vehicle in the world, with over 1,700 flights since its debut in 1966.