by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Jan 10, 2016
After spending more than $1 billion on satellite programs, Turkey is preparing to build the country's first indigenous satellite.
The target date to launch the first all-Turkish satellite is 2019, a senior procurement official told Defense News.
"There may be delays ... but the idea to build an overall Turkish satellite will not be reviewed," the official said, adding that, for Ankara, the critical criteria to make the satellite was "software, design and platform."
Ankara will be prepared to pay for foreign experts in order to build the satellite, which officials say will cost Turkey 545 million liras ($185 million), Defense News reported.
"Foreign players will be expected to cooperate with local contractors, prime and sub," the procurement officials said.
Ensar Gul, general manager for Turksat, Turkey's satellite operator, said his company wants to be operating a fleet of ten satellites by 2023.
Last year, Turkish Aerospace Industries launched a $112 million Space Systems Integration and Test Center, where more than one satellite of up to five tons could be assembled, integrated and tested.
All satellites or space-bound payloads developed by Turkish industry will be tested and integrated at the facility, ending Turkey's reliance on foreign facilities.
Russia's Arktika Satellite Network to Be Launched in 2017 Despite Sanctions
"The full transition to the Russian components will not change [our] plans on the Arktika project: the first satellite is expected to be launched in 2017. Almost all components and devices have been received, the rest will be received in 2016," Sergei Lemeshevsky of the Lavochkin Research and Production Association told RIA Novosti.
According to Lemeshevsky, the Western sanctions will not affect the Arktika project because the design of satellites is originally based on domestic technologies.
"At least two satellites will be constantly operating as part of the space network in order to provide the necessary coverage," Lemeshevsky noted.
The Arktika satellite network has been designed to monitor the weather and environment changes in the in the polar regions and the Arctic Ocean.
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) signed the contract to manufacture the first stage of the multi-purpose Arktika satellite network with the Lavochkin NPO in 2012. The works were set to be completed in November 2015, but due to numerous revisions of the Federal Space Program for 2016-2025, the launch of the first satellite had been postponed until 2017.
Source: Sputnik News
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