Spacecom buying US-built satellite

Israel’s Spacecom is abandoning its usual local supplier (Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI) and is instead buying its latest satellite from Maxar-Space Systems/Loral.  Spacecom is paying $112 million for the craft. There will likely be extra payments for insurance as well as the costs of launching the satellite.

IAI has built 4 previous satellites for Spacecom. Spacecom CEO David Pollak reportedly said that his company had not chosen IAI, although it would have been happy to do so, but its price was uncompetitive and the timetable offered would imperil being able to replace Amos 7 on time.

IAI, in a statement, said the loss of the order might mean the end of Israel’s satellite industry.

Maxar (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler & Assoc) and its subsidiary Space Systems/Loral will construct Amos-8 for Spacecom, which is intended to be located at 4 degrees West, Spacecom’s orbital slot which serves Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

AMOS-8 will include flexible high-power Ku-band and Ka-band payloads with steerable antennas to enable customers to deliver various added value services. The satellite is designed to provide service for a minimum of 15 years, and is based on SS/L’s popular SSL 1300 version – which has the capability to support a broad range of advanced applications and technologies.

Amos-8 will operate alongside Amos-3. The new satellite will be launched by SpaceX in the second-half of 2020.

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