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Russia’s Glavkosmos Offers To Build Second Bangladeshi Communications Satellite

Artist’s rendering of Bangabandhu-1. Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

Glavkosmos, the Russian launch services and satellite company, has expressed an interest in building and launching Bangladesh’s second communications satellite, Bangabandhu-2, according to several Bangladeshi press reports.

Vitaly Safonov, the deputy director-general of Glavkosmos, is heading a team of six satellite engineers on a fact-finding mission to Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital city. The Glavkosmos team are being accompanied on their various meetings by Russia’s ambassador to Bangladesh, Alexander Ignatov.

The meetings are apparently an effort to understand and ascertain Bangladeshi technical and commercial requirements for the Bangabandhu-2 satellite. Once these requirements are understood it is believed that Glavkosmos will conduct a feasibility study that will include recommended orbital slots, as well as a cost estimate for Bangladeshi officials to consider.

While in Dhaka Glavkosmos executives are meeting Mustafa Jabbar, Bangladesh’s Telecoms minister; Shahjahan Mahmood, Chairman of the Bangladesh Communications Satellite Company (BCSCL); Ashoke Kumar Biswas, the Bangladeshi Telecoms Secretary; and Mohammed Jahurul Haque, Chairman of the Bangladeshi Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

Speaking to the Bangladeshi press about the meetings, Telecoms minister Mustafa Jabbar said, “Actually, their meeting with me was an ice-breaking session. They have briefed us about the different kinds of satellites and we just told them we now have at least some experience about satellites and we want the second one to have an orbital position near our country.”

Bangabandhu-1 was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 satellite launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in May 2018. Bangabandhu-1, however, is on orbit at a location that is not directly over Bangladesh.

Bangabandhu-2 has become a political issue in Bangladesh as the current government made an electoral promise that the satellite will be built and launched by 2023.

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