America's Next Rocket Engine

BE-4 Engine

BE-4 is the most powerful liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled oxygen-rich staged combustion engine ever flown. BE-4 is capable of producing 550,000 lbf (2,450 kN) thrust with deep throttle capability.


Robust Design

We chose LNG because it is highly efficient, low cost and widely available. Unlike kerosene, LNG can be used to self-pressurize its tank. Known as autogenous repressurization, this eliminates the need for costly and complex systems that draw on Earth’s scarce helium reserves. LNG also possesses clean combustion characteristics even at low throttle, simplifying engine reuse compared to kerosene fuels.

BE-4 was designed from the beginning to be a medium-performing version of a high-performance architecture. It’s a conscious design choice made to lower development risk while meeting performance, schedule and reusability requirements. With our hardware-rich approach, multiple developmental units and redundant test stands enable a high test tempo and rapid learning.

A view from inside the test stand of the engine affixed horizontally to the metal structure. A fierce plume of white and orange exhaust is expelled from the black nozzle in the center of the frame.

BE-4 in the Market

The first ox-rich staged combustion engine made in the U.S. powers two vehicles in the next generation of American orbital rockets. Seven BE-4 engines power New Glenn's reusable booster, and two BE-4 engines drive the first stage of United Launch Alliance's Vulcan launch vehicle.

Testing and Production

BE-4 continues full-scale engine testing at our facilities in Van Horn, TX and Huntsville, AL. Full-rate production occurs in our engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville.