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OneWeb suffers $229m hit on Russian launches

September 5, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Constellation operator OneWeb, itself in the process of merging with Paris-based Eutelsat, has booked a $229 million (€230.9m) impairment charge caused by the ending of its six-launch contract with Russia’s Soyuz rockets because of “geo-political” problems.

OneWeb has also seen 36 of its costly satellites stuck at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and now unlikely to be launched.

Overall, OneWeb logged a $425.9 million operating loss for the year to March 31st, against a nominal revenue of just $9.6 million (and 2021 loss of $44 millio). The small income stream came about from earnings at TrustComm Inc., now renamed OneWeb Technologies and which was acquired in September 2021.

However, the good news is that OneWeb has a contracted backlog of orders and commitments worth some $600 million from clients in India, Canada, Europe, the MENA region, Indonesia and even Alaska.

OneWeb added that it now has official ‘landing rights’ (permission to offer its services) in 57 nations.

OneWeb reported that its existing – and orbiting – 1st Generation satellites are good until 2028 when they will begin to reach the end of their design life. The company is working on Gen. 2 versions.

Currently OneWeb has 428 satellites orbiting. The business says that it expects to offer a full global service towards the end of 2023.

To launch its remaining 200 or so satellites, OneWeb has ordered three launches on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets and two with India’s New Space India’s GLSV rockets.

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