In Blow to Israel's Satellite Industry, New Amos 8 to Be Manufactured Abroad

Israel Aerospace loses out a second time on Spacecom contract

Guy Erez
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Spacecom's Amos 6 satellite, 2015.
Spacecom's Amos 6 satellite, 2015.Credit: Space Communications
Guy Erez

For the second time, Israel Aerospace industry lost out on a contract for the Israeli satellite operator Spacecom to build the next Amos communications satellite.

Spacecom said on Sunday it had awarded the $112 million contract to build its Amos 8 to the U.S. company Loral Space Systems. The agreement also calls for Loral to supply control and ground equipment, and help with launching and operating the satellite.

The contract is a blow to IAI, as Spacecom was its sole client, which also comes as bad news for Israel, which seems to have given up on its satellite industry. Israel also uses communication satellites for intelligence purposes and it seems that it will now have to rely on satellites manufactured abroad.

Spacecom, which is owned by the embattled telecoms tycoon Shaul Elovitch, said it had wanted to support a fellow Israeli company but was obligated to its shareholders and bondholders to choose the best option.

Spacecom chose Boeing to build its previous satellite, the $160 million Amos 17, which is due to be put into orbit in another year.

Spacecom's Amos 6 satellite was destroyed when the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket due to carry it into orbit exploded two years ago.