China, UK sign GBP 110 mn deal for EO satellites

China, UK sign GBP 110 mn deal for EO satellites

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London, UK: DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) of Britain and China-based Twenty-First Century Aerospace Technology Co. Ltd. (21AT) signed GBP 110 million (USD 170.2 million) deal in the presence of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and British Prime Minister David Cameron. DMCii is a Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) subsidiary company. According to SSTL’s press statement, under this deal, SSTL will provide three earth observation SSTL-300S1 satellites, a new smallsat design with 1 metre high resolution imaging capability with high speed downlink and 45 degrees off-pointing.
The three satellites will form a new constellation, DMC3. By combining the coverage from three satellites, the DMC3 constellation will be able to revisit a given area daily, which is crucial for change detection, disaster monitoring and response planning, and essential for acquiring cloud-free imagery. Like its SSTL-300 counterpart, the new 350kg satellite also features advanced avionics and optical systems that make it possible to perform several different types of imaging such as mapping terrain, strip imaging and mosaic imaging for wide areas. According to China Daily report, the satellite deal is part of trade deals worth USD 4.3 billion between China and the UK. The two leaders signed total 12 agreements, including a USD 2.46 billion agreement on clean coal between China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group and British Seamwell International Ltd.
The leaders restated their desire to double bilateral trade to USD 100 billion by 2015. The agreements will help British companies work with China in several key areas, including architecture, civil engineering, remote sensing satellite and research and development, China Daily reported.
According to Kerry Brown, senior fellow at London-based Chatham House, the key points for the UK are having deeper trade links with China, being partners on environmental issues as well as in high-tech areas, and attracting more Chinese investment.
Analysts noted that Britain is scrambling to catch up with European rivals France and Germany in striking trade deals with China. Cameron visited China in November, the same month that France secured contracts for French companies worth USD 19.1 billion. British exports have increased 20 percent since Cameron’s visit, and London is seeking deals to enable British businesses to branch out beyond Beijing and Shanghai into fast-growing regional cities.
Source: China Daily, DMCii & SSTL