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Russia places order with SSTL for satellite platform equipment

World leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed an order with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise. The Russian Research and Production Enterprise Pan-Russian Research Institute for Electromechanics (FSUE NPP VNIIEM) and Radioexport of Russia for the supply of satellite platform equipment and services for the KANOPUS Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Earth observation spacecraft.

The first satellite, KANOPUS-B, will be ready for launch in 2008. It will monitor the Earth's surface and will support the monitoring of disasters, agricultural planning and the management of water and coastal resources. Under the contract SSTL will supply FSUE NPP VNIIEM with the platform avionics equipment and software, and support their spacecraft assembly and integration activities in Russia.

The multimillion pound contract marks the beginning of a longer-term relationship between the companies, with at least two further projects on the agenda.

An FSUE NPP VNIIEM spokesperson commented: "It was essential for our company to select a partner with a proven track record in delivering flight-proven systems within extremely demanding schedules to ensure that we will be flight-ready in time for launch."

SSTL Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting, commented: "FSUE NPP VNIIEM's selection of SSTL reflects on our track record of consistently delivering successful small satellite missions, within fixed budgets and on schedule. This contract is a unique opportunity for FSUE NPP VNIIEM and SSTL to further develop its cooperation on future Russian small satellite projects".

Commercial Space Technologies (CST), based in London and Moscow, acted as SSTL's local representative in Russia to assist negotiations with NPP VNIIEM and Radioexport.

This success follows recent contract awards for two high capability Earth observation satellites: NigeriaSat-2 for Nigeria's National Space Research and Development Agency and an additional DMC satellite for Spanish company Deimos. Last month ESA awarded SSTL a follow-on contract for the supply of a second navigation satellite, GIOVE-A2. SSTL now has 12 new satellites under construction and test at its facilities in Guilford, England for customers in Europe, North America and Africa.

Earlier this month, SSTL's latest satellite, CFESat, a research satellite for the US Department of Energy Los Alamos National Laboratory, was launched on an EELV from the Kennedy Space Centre.

The Federal State Unitary Enterprise - the Russian Research and Production Enterprise Pan-Russian Research Institute for Electromechanics (FSUE NPP VNIIEM) was founded in 1941.Today FSUE NPP VNIIEM is a diversified multifunctional enterprise that incorporates research and industrial facilities that enable it to carry out both R&D activities and manufacturing of hi-tech products, employing a team of highly skilled experts across the spectrum of science and technology.

The research and engineering activity of FSUE NPP VNIIEM covers space technology, electrical equipment for nuclear power engineering, electrical engineering for national utilities such as gas, medicine and shipbuilding, electro technical materials and technologies. FSUE NPP VNIIEM has been responsible for the development of the 'METEOR' series of Russian remote sensing satellites and "KANOPUS-B' spacecraft.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites. Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL has led the way in the development of innovative technologies to achieve cost effective satellite missions that are delivered within rapid timescales. The experience and heritage of missions (27 satellites launched to date) and in-orbit operations acquired through short development periods and frequent launches, is unmatched by any other small satellite manufacturer. SSTL employs 230 people working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, all of which exploit the cost effective technologies and techniques that are the company's hallmarks.

SSTL's ultimate holding company is the University of Surrey, an institution with 200M Euro annual revenues. The University currently holds 85% of the shares, SSTL staff 5%, with the remaining 10% held by SpaceX of the USA.

Stuart Miller | alfa
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