Russia’s RSC Energia to develop remote sensing satellite for Egypt

Russia’s RSC Energia to develop remote sensing satellite for Egypt

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RSC Energia to develop a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite for Egypt called EgyptSat-A. (Satellite image of EgyptSat-2)

Russia: Russia’s spacecraft and space station components manufacturer, RSC Energia, to develop a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite for Egypt called EgyptSat-A. The satellite will be developed to replace the EgyptSat-2 satellite which was produced by Russia, and was lost in space in April 2015.

Vladimir Solntsev, the Chief Executive Officer of RSC Energia said, “We have already started producing the spacecraft. Its launch is scheduled in 2019.”

The satellite will be fitted with advanced optical-electronic system and onboard control package, high-speed onboard radio link and improved solar batteries. The share of Russian components in EgyptSat-A will be much higher in EgyptSat-2, including X-band transmitters.

EgyptSat-A should replace EgyptSat-2 satellite produced by Russia, communications with which was lost in April 2015. RSC Energia said it started producing EgyptSat-A at the expense of the insurance coverage for the lost satellite in May 2016. The equivalent cost of new work amounts to approximately $100 mln.

If these reports were correct, it would appear that RSC Energia has won that bid, though the EgyptSat series of remote sensing satellites has been a deeply troubled one. The decision to stick with a Russian manufacturer for the Egyptian remote sensing satellite might be more about Russian-Egyptian geopolitics than the need for a reliable satellite imaging system.