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MDA to build 198 satellites for Telesat’s low-earth orbit program

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

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

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

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