Image: Boeing - Intelsat 22
Following on from the ADF’s purchase of part of the UHF hosted payload on Intelsat’s satellite Intelsat 22 in April of 2009, the ADF has now exercised its option to purchase the remainder of the communications payload.
The new announcement involves an additional cost of $193 million dollars, taking the total project value under Joint Project 2008 Phase 5A to $475.1 million.
The Minister for Defence Senator Faulkner also announced that Australia and the US have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on sharing UHF communications resources, essentially providing the US with access to the Australian capability, and Australia with access to US UHF comms capacity over the Pacific Ocean.
Intelsat 22 is currently being built by Boeing, and is anticipated to be launched in the first quarter of 2012, and be positioned at 72 degrees East.
Another example of Australian government money being spent in the Space domain, but without long term support to an Australian Space industry, we loose all of our space money, jobs and expertise overseas.