Israel’s Spacecom has again extended the time period it needs to raise funds for its initial deposit for U.S. Satellite manufacturer SpaceSystems/Loral (SSL) to build its AMOS-8 satellite, but the process – and payment — has been mired in delays.
Most notable is the impending decision by the Israeli government to have Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) build an alternative satellite, which could then be used for all government business, freezing Spacecom and Amos-8 out of the process and much needed business needed for the company’s long-term survival.
It has been reported that Spacecom told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that it and SSL had agreed to another postponement of the deposit until 25 September 2018. The order for AMOS-8, initiated in March 2018 for a satellite to be launched by 2020, is worth U.S.$112 million.
With the initial payment originally due in May 2018, Spacecom first postponed it for 30 days while it waited for information from the Israeli government about its decision to order its own satellite from Israel Aerospace Industries, which it intended to place at a slot (4 degrees West) owned by Israel but previously occupied by Spacecom.
AMOS-8 is planned to replace the short-term lease of AMOS-7 that is currently contracted from Hong Kong-based Asiasat at an annual cost of U.S.$22 million.
Spacecom has been anticipating that AMOS-8, its orbital slot, and key government business would help return it to profitability after a series of problems in recent years.