March 26, 2018 / 9:29 AM / 6 months ago

Israel's Spacecom to buy new communications satellite from SSL

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s Space Communications said on Monday it signed a $112 million deal with Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to build its Amos-8 advanced communications satellite.

The satellite, which is designed to provide service for at least 15 years, is slated to be launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the second half of 2020, Spacecom said.

Spacecom chose SSL, a unit of Maxar Technologies, over state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the maker of previous Amos satellites.

A year ago, Spacecom began operating Amos-7 — obtained in a deal with Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings — after losing two satellites in the prior two years.

In September 2016, Amos-6 was destroyed days before its scheduled launch when a SpaceX launcher exploded. Spacecom also lost contact with another satellite in 2015.

Amos-8 will replace Amos-3, which was launched in 2008.

Spacecom is 64 percent owned by Eurocom Holdings.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; By Tova Cohen

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