Maxar withdraws from Telesat LEO competition

Maxar CEO Dan Jablonsky said that Maxar is monitoring opportunities to create commercial satellite constellations, but won’t pursue all of them.

Maxar withdraws from Telesat LEO competition
Maxar withdraws from Telesat LEO competition

Maxar withdraws from Telesat LEO competition

Maxar Technologies announced that they do not expect to win any manufacturing contracts for Telesat’s future multibillion-dollar broadband mega-constellation of roughly 300 satellites.

Dan Jablonsky, Maxar’s chief executive, stated that in its current form, they are not expecting active participation in the Telesat LEO competition. As the procurement decision for the constellation, called Telesat LEO, remains delayed, it no longer looks like a great business opportunity for Maxar. 

Jablonsky said Maxar is monitoring opportunities to create commercial satellite constellations, but won’t pursue all of them.

Dan Goldberg, Telesat chief executive, said that in the coming months everyone should be hearing from them about being in a position to make some definitive announcements with respect to procurement and financing.

He added that Telesat LEO satellites will have onboard processing, phased array antennas and inter-satellite links and will be optimised for broadband to airplanes, ships, governments and businesses.

Telesat still expects its future LEO constellation to start out service in 2022. The delay in Telesat’s manufacturing decision is additionally having a consequence on the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Blackjack program.

DARPA wants to possess 20 cross-linked satellites in LEO in 2022, and is considering whatever satellite bus Telesat uses as a possible Blackjack bus.

Stephen Forbes, DARPA’s deputy program manager for Blackjack, mentioned during a webinar conducted by SpaceNews that while DARPA realizes Telesat’s manufacturer selection may be a commercially driven decision, the agency would have benefited from a quicker choice.