Canada’s Telesat says MDA to build 198 satellites, shares soar

Canada's Telesat says MDA to build 198 satellites, shares soar
Satellite model is placed on Telesat logo in this illustration taken Apr 4, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

Satellite operator Telesat has given space tech firm MDA a C$2.1 billion (US$1.56 billion) contract to build 198 satellites for its low-earth orbit program.

The deal announced on Friday sparked a more than 45 per cent surge in both Telesat’s Canadian and US shares, putting them on track for their best day ever. MDA, meanwhile, rose about 29 per cent.

Telesat said it had earmarked US$3.5 billion as capital expenditure for the Lightspeed project and that the MDA deal had helped it save US$2 billion.

The launches are scheduled to commence in mid-2026, with polar and global services scheduled to begin in late 2027.

By using MDA’s beam-forming array antennas and integrated regenerative processor, the redesigned Telesat Lightspeed network will achieve increased network efficiency and enhanced flexibility to focus and deliver capacity to users, the company said in a statement.

The technology would also allow each satellite to be slightly smaller than the ones Telesat was previously considering.

Telesat’s Lightspeed network is designed to serve the connectivity requirements of enterprise and government users, with highly secure, resilient, low-latency broadband connectivity anywhere in the world.

The company launched its first LEO 3 demonstration satellite aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket in July.

Telesat earlier on Friday also reported second-quarter results. The company posted a profit of C$519.9 million, compared with a year-ago loss of C$4.38 million.

Revenue fell 4 per cent to C$179.8 million.

Source: Reuters