Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space has agreed to collaborate with Gazprom Space Systems on a spacecraft assembly project.

The Letter of Intent signed between the companies will focus on the launch of spacecraft production.

The development took place at the ninth St Petersburg International Gas Forum. In January, both parties reached a Memorandum of Understanding.

Under the agreement, Thales Alenia Space will act as technology partner in the project. Work on drafting principles and the basic terms for Thales Alenia Space’s participation in the project will soon get underway.

Gazprom’s project will involve establishing a civil spacecraft assembly facility in the Moscow Region.

When completed, the spacecraft facility will be able to manufacture spacecraft to raise Yamal orbital satellite constellation and the SMOTR remote sensing satellites’ capacity.

The systems are responsible for providing the company with technological communication and monitoring of the production facilities owned by the group.

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The facility is also expected to minimise costs and reduce spacecraft production terms for the company’s requirements.

It will be used to produce machinery for other Russian customers, as well as conducting the assembly, integration and testing of spacecraft systems and components.

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%).

It has been associated with the Russian space industry for a long time and has participated in more than 40 satellite programmes. Thales Alenia Space also played a role in satellite construction projects for Gazprom.