IAI Wins $170M Satellite Sale to Spacecom Co.
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has signed a contract worth $170 million for the sale of its AMOS-3 Communications Satellite to Spacecom Company. The satellite will be manufactured at IAI’s Systems Missiles & Space Group, and will be launched by the end of 2007.
Why launch an additional satellite?
Spacecom had sold all of the transponder space on the AMOS-1; and the AMOS-2, with its larger capacity, will eventually take over from its older sister. The AMOS-1 has enjoyed trouble-free operation since 1996, but it has a life expectancy of some 12 years and will eventually die in 2008. The AMOS-2, launched in 2003, is expected to be in service until at least 2014. The AMOS-3, in contrast, will be a far more sophisticated satellite than its predecessors and offer far greater capacity.
IAI said it would develop and build the AMOS-3 based on the structure of the AMOS-2, with improved performance of its communications payload. The new satellite will include 15 high-capacity transponders (up from 9 on the AMOS-1) in two frequency fields delivered by two steering antennae in the Ku and Ka bands, both of which will have ground-controlled broadcasting capability. The AMOS-3 will cover the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and parts of the Americas. Alcatel’s Alenia Space subsidiary and Italy’s Telespazio Holdings will build the communications payload of the AMOS-3.
Spacecom said it would finance the new satellite through a public offering on the Tel Aviv stock market. The majority shareholders in the company are Eurocom Holdings, C. Mer Industries, M.M. Satellites and Communications, and IAI.
The company said it anticipates $40 million in annual revenues if the entire broadcasting capacity is sold. They have already received a commitment from the state of Israel to lease channels on the AMOS-3, with the value of the contract estimated at $60 million during the expected 11-year life of the satellite.
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