In Switch, Telesat Buys Satellite from Astrium

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat of Canada on Aug. 1 announced that its Telstar 12 replacement satellite will be built not by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), which no longer shares corporate parentage with Telesat, but by Astrium Satellites of Europe.

The satellite will operate at 15 degrees west, where it will cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa and also have beams over maritime routes in the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the South Atlantic for aeronautical and maritime mobile communications. Its launch is planned for late 2015.

Ottawa, Canada-based Telesat had bought satellites exclusively from Palo Alto, Calif.-based SSL when the two companies were majority-owned by Loral Space and Communications of New York. Loral sold SSL to MDA Corp. of Canada in mid-2012. 

Telesat had said it was free to choose its own suppliers, and that it just happened that SSL was selected during the period of Loral’s ownership.

Before the Loral purchase of Telesat, Astrium had been a regular supplier of satellites to the Canadian operator.

Astrium said the Telstar 12R will weigh slightly less than 5,000 kilograms at launch and provide 11 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of its 15-year service life.