A year ago in August 2017 London-based satellite operator Avanti Communications filed an action with the London Court of Arbitration for $16.8 million owed to it by Indonesia’s Defense Minsitry.
Earlier this month, on June 6th, Avanti won its claim, plus interest, and the Indonesians were ordered by the court to pay Avanti $20.075 million, by July 31st.
That payment is now in doubt with Indonesia’s MoD simply refusing to accept the Court’s ruling, and in the process placed into severe jeopardy their claim to the valuable 123 degrees East orbital position.
The International Telecommunications Union, which administers satellite orbital positions, doesn’t take kindly to countries – or users – walking away from their financial obligations. Indonesia has work in progress with Airbus Defence & Space and Hughes Network Systems, worth some $800 million – for a L-band satellite programme at 123 degrees East (the SatKomHam programme), and it is now reported that the Airbus/Hughes deal with Indonesia might collapse completely.
The proposed system is needed to improve connectivity over Indonesia’s 17,000 widely dispersed islands.
Avanti had leased its Artemis satellite – complete with its L-band payload – to the Indonesians and moved it in space to the 123 degrees East orbital position in order to secure – for the Indonesian government – their ‘rights’ to the slot.
Avanti badly needs the Indonesian cash, and is in a something of a bind itself in terms of cashflow.