Advanced Television

Maxar quiet on future satellite deliveries

March 2, 2023

Satellite builder Maxar Technologies is naturally reluctant to talk publicly about its satellite delivery dates – or any slippage in those delivery obligations. In future such news must come from its clients, says Maxar. One of the affected businesses is its own WorldView Legion imaging six-craft constellation.

Maxar had previously talked in November last year of delivering the first pair of Legion craft in December 2022, and missed that date. It had been intended to launch this first pair in January 2023. The next pair were slated to launch in March and another two around May/June.

A regulatory filing dated February 22nd talks of further testing taking place and that the launches would happen at the end of that process.

However, the filing touched on compensation it had paid (or will pay) to EchoStar’s Hughes Network Systems because of the late availability of the giant EchoStar/Hughes Jupiter 3 craft. While not specified it could be that the compensation would be no less than $30 million. EchoStar had threatened to cancel the contract with Maxar. If Jupiter 3 is further delays beyond June 30th, then Maxar has obligations to pay $8 million per month, rising to $10 million from October.

It has also been reported that Maxar’s late delivery of a satellite for Sweden’s Ovzon which couple amount to some $25 million.

Maxar, which is in the process of being acquired by Advent International, stated: “Due to our pending Merger Agreement, we are no longer providing forward-looking updates on the timing of the launches of our WorldView Legion satellites. We are continuing integration testing for the WorldView Legion satellites, and launch of the satellites will occur following completion of that process. As previously disclosed in our public filings, and as more completely described in the Merger Agreement, no effect relating to or arising from the Company’s WorldView Legion satellite program can constitute or contribute to a material adverse effect, and the [merger] closing is not conditional on the absence of any such effort or the success of the WorldView Legion programme.”

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