During the 1970s, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries had built under license the Rocketdyne MB-3 for the N-I rocket, for which it had also developed the second stage attitude control system. In the 1980s it also developed the thrusters for ETS-4 (Kiku-3), the first to be built in Japan. In 2000 it acquired and merged with the aerospace division of Nissan and became IHI Aerospace.
The use on the A2100 platform has allowed IHI to export the BT-4 even to American military programs such programs as the MUOS and AEHF.
On March 9, 2006, IHI Aerospace announced that the AEHF-2 BT-4 engine had successfully performed its mission, unlike AEHF-1's.
On November 29, 2010 IHI Aerospace announced that it had received and order from Lockheed Martin of four BT-4 engines for AEHF-4, MUOS-4, MUOS-5 and Vinasat-2. With this order, it achieved its 100th-unit foreign engine export since it started selling abroad in 1999.
For the HTV project, IHI developed a new version, the HBT-5, which enabled them to replace the American R-4D from the third flight onward.
On October 3, 2013, with the successful berthing of the Cygnus Orb-D1 mission, IHI announced that the propulsion was based on their 500N Delta-Velocity Engines.
In January 2018, a BT-4 kick motor was used on the GovSat-1 geosynchronous commsat flight.
BT-4 (Cygnus): Used mainly as thruster, it burns MMH/N2O4 with a thrust of 450 N (100 lbf). It weighs 4 kg (8.8 lb) and is 65 cm (26 in) tall.
BT-4 (450N): Used mainly as LAE, it burns Hydrazine/N2O4 in a 1.69 O/F ratio. It has a thrust of 450 N (100 lbf), a specific impulse of 329 s (3.23 km/s) and an input pressure of 1.62 MPa (235 psi). As of 2014, it had a demonstrated life of 32,850 seconds.
BT-4 (500N): Used mainly as LAE, it burns Hydrazine/N2O4 with a thrust of 500 N (110 lbf), a specific impulse of 329 s (3.23 km/s). It weighs 4 kg (8.8 lb) and is 80 cm (31 in) tall.
490N MON Thruster: Burns MMH/MON-3 with a 478 N (107 lbf) nominal thrust, a specific impulse of 316 s (3.10 km/s) and an inlet pressure of 1.72 MPa (249 psi). As of 2014, it had a demonstrated life of 15,000 seconds.
HBT-5: Developed for the HTV to crew-rated standards, it burns MMH/MON-3, and has a thrust of 500 N (110 lbf). Used in HTV-3 and since HTV-5 onward.
SELENE OME: Based on the DRTS Liquid apogee engine, the SELENE Orbital Maneuvering Engine burned a Hydrazine/MON-3 mixture. It had a thrust of 547 ± 54 N (123 ± 12 lbf) and a specific impulse of 319.8 ± 5.1 s (3.136 ± 0.050 km/s) with an input pressure of 1.77 MPa (257 psi).
^ abc"ロッキード・マーチン社向け衛星用エンジンがフライトに成功〜独自開発の世界最高性能のエンジンで２回連続のフライトに成功〜" [Success in two successive flights for the engine with world's best performance] (in Japanese). IHI Aerospace. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
^Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2016-08-05). "OSC → Orbital ATK: StarBus → Star-2 → GeoStar-2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
^"IHI Aerospace Manufactured Engines Selected for AEHF-4, MUOS-4, MUOS-5, and Vinasat-2 Satellites by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company". IHI Aerospace. November 29, 2010. Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
^ abc"IHI Aerospace Bipropellant Thrusters" (PDF). IHI Aerospace. December 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
^ abIHI Aerospace. "IHI Corporate Profile" (PDF). pp. 15–16. Retrieved 2016-08-29.[permanent dead link]
^"Orbital Sciences developed CygnusTM Spacecraft which uses IHI Aerospace's Delta-Velocity Engine as its main engine successfully berthed to the International Space Station". IHI Aerospace. October 3, 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-29.