PARIS — Australian startup satellite operator NewSat Ltd. has purchased capacity on the Russian Satellite Communications Co.’s Express-AM3 satellite, recently moved to 103 degrees east, in a three-year contract valued at $13 million, Moscow-based RSCC said June 26.

Southbank, Victoria-based NewSat, which recently told investors it was cutting costs following reduced teleport sales to military and energy production customers, appears nonetheless determined to expand its business as it waits for its own capacity to reach orbit.

NewSat has leased a large part of the capacity on Malaysia-based Measat’s Measat 3b satellite, whose planned June launch was delayed to next September because its co-passenger aboard the European Ariane 5 rocket is late. NewSat’s fully owned Jabiru-1 satellite is scheduled for launch in 2015.

RSCC said NewSat would use the Express-AM3 satellite to provide cellular backhaul services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

RSCC Director-General Yuri Prokorov said the contract “is an important milestone in the expansion of [the RSCC] customer base in the Asia-Pacific.” 

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Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.