Israeli satellite fleet operator Spacecom Satellite Communications has selected Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to build the AMOS-6 communications satellite and ground control systems, as well as provide operating services under a $200m contract.
According to Spacecom, the AMOS-6 communications satellite has an operating life of nearly 16 years and is expected to be launched during the first quarter of 2015.
The cost of launching, insuring and a year's operation of the AMOS-6 is expected to be $85m, which will be funded by IAI and foreign sources, while the launch company yet to be decided, reports Globes.
Spacecom is also planning to sign $95m in services contracts prior to the launch of AMOS-6, of which $20m will be paid during the construction and the remainder during the operational period of the satellite.
IAI has selected Canadian-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to deliver the communications payload for the AMOS-6 satellite.
The $87.7m payload contract, to be finalised in July, is being executed under an authorisation to proceed agreement.
Following its launch, AMOS-6 will expand services of the existing AMOS satellite constellation, owned and operated by Spacecom, which offers fixed and mobile communication services in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa.
Equipped with 80 transponders in both Ku- and Ka-band, the AMOS-6 satellite will replace the ageing AMOS-2 satellite at 4° west longitude, with its service period scheduled to end in 2016.
Spacecom is a subsidiary of Eurocom Group, the controlling shareholder in Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication.