ViaSat Puts a Price Tag on Its Boeing-built Behemoth

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PARIS — Satellite broadband hardware and services provider ViaSat Inc. on May 24 put a figure on its contract with Boeing to build the ViaSat-2 Ka-band broadband satellite: $358 million.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat also said it expects to pay Space Systems/Loral up to $37.6 million in in-orbit incentive payments for the ViaSat-1 broadband satellite that entered service in January 2012. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Space Systems/Loral built ViaSat-1.

ViaSat has sued Space Systems/Loral and its former corporate parent, Loral Space and Communications of New York, for patent infringement and breach of contract relating to Loral’s ViaSat-1 work.

ViaSat alleges Loral took ViaSat intellectual property and used it to build other satellites, notably the EchoStar 17/Jupiter 1 Ka-band broadband satellite owned by EchoStar Corp.’s Hughes Network Systems, which is ViaSat’s direct competitor in offering satellite broadband in North America. Loral has countersued alleging patent infringements on ViaSat’s part.

Satellite owners often require that manufacturers forgo about 10 percent of the contract price of a satellite pending the satellite’s successful performance.

ViaSat said its monthly incentive payments to Space Systems/Loral, which pay 7 percent annual interest, will continue to 2026 assuming the satellite stays healthy.

ViaSat had made clear it would not consider Space Systems/Loral for ViaSat-2. Under the Boeing contract, ViaSat-2 is scheduled for launch in mid-2016. Including its launch, insurance and ground infrastructure, it is expected to cost around $625 million, ViaSat has said.