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Armenia plans to launch its first satellite with Russia’s support, under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed on Monday during the Farnborough air show.
“We have already signed a memorandum to create a communications satellite for Armenia,” said Vladimir Popovkin, director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, at a press conference, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The satellite will carry 15 transponders. No information about the timetable for the satellite launch or its costs have been revealed.
The satellite will be made by Russian satellite maker Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems.
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan discussed the satellite project with officials from the Russian Central Research Institute of Machine Building back in April.
Last year, the U.S. Export-Import Bank agreed to finance development of Azerbaijan’s first national telecommunications satellite, now slated for launch later this year atop an Ariane 5 ECA rocket. Armenian groups in the U.S. voiced opposition to U.S. backing for the satellite, which they said could be used for military purposes.
PS: Come to think of it, the Armenia satellite, if and when it is launched, will definitely be used for military purposes too. They just need to mount some good optical equipment on it and start using it for accurate rocket positioning to hit targets in Azerbaijan’s territory.