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Russia to create $150 mln Earth observation satellite by late 2025

July 06, 15:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia will develop a new Earth’s remote sensing satellite on the basis of the existing Kondor-FKA space vehicle by late 2025

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© AP Photo/NASA

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov in the Moscow Region) will develop a new Earth’s remote sensing satellite on the basis of the existing Kondor-FKA space vehicle by late 2025, according to information posted on the state procurement website on Friday.

The state procurement contract envisages upgrading the space system of the radar-based operational all-weather round-the-clock observation of the Earth with the creation of the Kondor-FKA-M satellite equipped with the S-band radar and modernizing the space system on its basis (the Kondor-FKA-M R&D work).

The Reutov-based Research and Production Association was the sole bidder in the tender announced by Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos. The contract is worth 9.3 billion rubles ($147 million) and is intended to be fulfilled by November 25, 2025.

The new Kondor-FKA-M satellite is expected to be launched from the Vostochny spaceport by a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and a Fregat booster.

As a source in the domestic space industry told TASS, the contract between Roscosmos and the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building has not yet been signed and this may happen in the near future.

The tender documentation for the project specifies that the federal budget is the source of its financing. The project’s federal budget financing will total 479.95 million rubles ($7.6 million) in 2018, 222 million rubles ($3.5 million) in 2019, 185.5 million rubles ($2.9 million) in 2020, 1.24 billion rubles ($19.6 million) in 2021, 2.22 billion rubles ($35 million) in 2022, 2.13 billion rubles ($33.7 million) in 2023, 1.59 billion rubles ($25 million) in 2024 and 1.25 billion rubles ($19.8 million) in 2025.

Section Head of the Roscosmos Department for Automated Space Systems Valery Zaichko earlier said that the space corporation planned to launch three Kondor-FKA small radar surveillance satellites in 2019, 2020 and 2025. The satellites are expected to be launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East by a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket with a Fregat booster. The Kondor-FKA belongs to a series of small Earth’s remote sensing satellites. The satellites were developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building, in particular, for Russia’s Defense Ministry. The first Kondor satellite was launched on June 27, 2013.

Kondor-FKA-M project

The Kondor-FKA-M project aims to upgrade the space system of the radar-based operational all-weather and round-the-clock observation of the Earth with the development of the Kondor-FKA-M satellite and modernize the space system on its basis. In a perspective, the space grouping will comprise two Kondor-FKA-M satellites, according to the information on the state procumbent website.

The project’s customers are Russia’s Emergencies and Agriculture Ministries, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography and the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.

"The basic designation of the upgraded space system is to get radar data for the purposes of solving the task of Russia’s social and economic development, ensure round-the-clock and all-weather sensing of the continental regions of the Earth and the World Ocean," the tender documentation says.

Specifically, the future space system will deal with the following tasks: monitoring measures to eliminate the consequences of floods, forest fires, snow avalanches and other natural calamities, forecasting harvests, monitoring, diagnosing and forecasting the ice situation along the Northern Sea Route, in the Arctic Ocean and in the seas adjacent to the Russian territory.

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