Thales Alenia Space’s deal with Iridium Communication (Nasdaq: IRDM) for 81 communication satellites for use in the Iridium NEXT low-orbit constellation is well underway.
According to Thales, “with the closing of Iridium’s Coface credit facility, the FSD (Full Scale System Development) contract between Iridium and Thales Alenia Space replaces the Authorization to Proceed (ATP), signed by the companies on June 1, 2010. As of June, Thales Alenia Space has, in fact, had full-scale system design and development underway through its work under the ATP.”
The launch of the first satellites is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
“We are extremely pleased to have closed the Coface financing and to have moved onto the FSD as we aggressively push forward to deliver Iridium NEXT,” CEO Matt Desch of Iridium said. “Today marks another important milestone since our June 1 decision to choose Thales Alenia Space as our prime contractor. The Thales Alenia Space team is now fully engaged in designing Iridium NEXT and we feel great about the partnership that is developing between our two companies as work accelerates on this exciting venture.“