Israel to Launch Advanced Satellite

Israel will launch an advanced communications satellite next November, officials with Israel Aircraft Industries announced Sunday.

The Amos-1 satellite, which is being built by IAI in cooperation with Deutsche Aerospace of Germany and the French Alcatel Aerospace company, will be launched by a French-made Ariane rocket from Guinea, in western Africa.

The satellite is expected to remain in orbit for some 11 years.

Amos-1 will be able to relay video, voice and data transmission across an area extending from Iran to Libya, and from Ukraine in the north to as far south as Sudan, Africa.

Officials at Spacecom – a joint venture of the state-owned IAI and three other Israeli firms which are marketing the satellite’s communications services – say they are currently negotiating with potential Israeli, Arab and other international customers to lease the satellite’s seven transponders.

Among potential customers for the satellite service are the U.S.-based Cable News Network and HBO, and Canal Plus in France.

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