Advanced Television

Maxar “multiple C-band” satellite order

May 13, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Maxar Technologies, announcing its Q1 results, says it has received a “multi-hundred million dollar contract award to build multiple satellites”. Maxar would not divulge the client but it is widely believed that this is the order for – some if not all – of the replacement C-band craft which will follow on from the FCC C-band auction later this year.

The multiple order is for Maxar’s ‘1300 Class’ craft from the Space Systems/Loral division of Maxar at Palo Alto, California.

SES and Intelsat both declined to comment.

The replacement fleet to generate new capacity for the lost C-band frequencies was always said to be in the region of 6-8 satellites.

This is a major order for any satellite manufacturer. CEO Dan Jablonsky said: “The bookings momentum has continued into the second quarter with today’s signing of a contract to build multiple 1300-Class communications satellites. This brings our bookings total in Space Infrastructure to over $700 million year-to-date and puts us on a path for another year of backlog growth for this segment.”

He added: “We’re really excited about it, and we’re looking forward to working on them and delivering them soon.”

“We ended the quarter with roughly $500 million in liquidity and no significant debt maturities until the end of 2023,” stated Biggs Porter, CFO. “This quarter’s results were negatively impacted by an increase in estimated costs to complete programmes and scheduling penalties in our Space Infrastructure segment because of the social distancing restrictions put in place across the world to help combat Covid-19. Separately we discovered a design anomaly on a commercial satellite program in late April prior to shipment. This was during the final stage of our thorough test process and resulted in schedule revisions and cost growth. Our results included negative impacts of $32 million in the quarter related to these items. Excluding these items, our results are in line with expectations.”

Last month Maxar completed the sale of its MDA Business division to Neptune Acquisition Inc., a corporation based in British Columbia, Canada, and an affiliate of Northern Private Capital, for $729 million (Can$1 billion) which after expenses will leave some $680 million in the bank.

Total revenues from continuing operations fell to $381 million from $431 million, or by $50 million, for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared to the same period of 2019. The decrease was primarily driven by a $78 million decrease in the Space Infrastructure segment which was partially offset by a $17 million increase in Maxar’s Earth Intelligence segment.

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