Israel-based Spacecom, which operates the AMOS fleet of satellites, has confirmed another delay in paying its initial deposit on the building of AMOS-8 with Space Systems/Loral.
Spacecom told the Tel Aviv stock exchange that it had agreed with Palo Alto-based Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) a further postponement of its deposit on the satellite until September 25th on an order worth $112 million.
Originally the payment was due in May, but Spacecom postponed that for 30 days while it obtained clarity from the Israeli government on what was happening with the government’s decision to order its own satellite with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and place the new craft at a slot (4 degrees West) previously occupied by Spacecom – but owned by Israel.
The Spacecom payment is needed by SS/L to cement the order, which was initiated in March, and for a satellite to be launched in 2020.
AMOS-8 is needed to replace the short-term 4-year lease of ‘Amos-7’ and contracted from Hong Kong-based Asiasat at a cost of $22 million annually.
However, the future prospects – and profitability – of Spacecom rather depends on Amos-8 and Spacecom retaining access to the orbital slot along with government business for the new satellite. If Israel commits to IAI and directs its business towards the new entity then this would place considerable financial pressures on Spacecom.