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Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) will develop and build Israel’s national communication satellite, the DROR 1, the company announced on 3 January.

DROR 1 is intended to meet the satellite communication needs of Israel for the next 15 years. It embodies primarily Israeli technologies developed at IAI, including an advanced digital communication payload and ‘smartphone in space’ capabilities, to provide communication agility throughout the satellite’s lifetime.

The agreement between IAI and the Israeli government marks the beginning of the latter implementing the September 2018 decision to promote a long-term strategy for Israeli satellite communications; a decision that stems from the understanding that the capability for communications independence is of critical national importance, as well as to enable preservation of the knowledge and expertise accumulated by Israel in recent years.

The new satellite will be developed by IAI’s Systems, Missiles and Space Group, which is dedicated to developing and building air defence systems, such as the BARAK MX and ARROW 2 and 3 weapon systems, advanced observation satellites, nano-satellites, satellite launchers and the BERESHEET lunar lander, which reached the moon in 2019. IAI is the national hub for expertise in radars, satellites, UAVs, civil aviation and cyber.

“The fruition of the agreement reflects the constructive collaboration between IAI and the government ministries. In recent years, IAI has invested massively in R&D to preserve Israel’s current satellite communication capabilities and in developing the future ones. We are excited to move forward with DROR 1, the most advanced communication satellite ever built in Israel. It will comprise numerous state-of-the-art technologies created here in Israel and contain highly-advanced digital capabilities. The agreement reflects the experience and skills amassed over the years at IAI for the benefit of the future satellite users in Israel,” commented Executive VP and General Manager of IAI’s Systems, Missiles and Space Group, Boaz Levy.

An artist's impression of the DROR 1 national communications satellite. (Image: IAI)

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