The Israeli government approved the funding required for the construction of communications satellite AMOS-8, which is now set to be built in Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space announced the decision Monday.
The funding means that the AMOS satellite operator, Israeli company Space Communication Ltd., known as Spacecom, will be able to withdraw from its $112 million deal with US-based Space Systems/Loral LLC, which it contracted to build AMOS-8 in March in lieu of government aid.
Spacecom has already postponed payment to Loral twice, in what seemed like a prolonged game of chicken with the Israeli government. So far, five out of Spacecom's seven AMOS satellites were manufactured in Israel by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI).
IAI was one of four companies to vie for the AMOS-8 contract but was unable to make a competitive offer.
[First publication: www.calcalistech.com]