The launch provider ILS (International Launch Services) and the Russian satellite manufacturing firm ISS Reshetnev have announced a new collaboration agreement on opportunities to launch two spacecraft utilizing a dedicated ILS Proton launch vehicle. The agreement would allow technical assessment on how a Russian-built smaller spacecraft could be launched on a Proton M launch vehicle with a smaller spacecraft built elsewhere. The two spacecraft would be launched on a Proton M in a configuration similar to that employed by Arianespace’s Ariane 5. That is with the lower spacecraft supporting the upper spacecraft on top.
Noting the success that the French export credit agency Coface, and the US Exim bank, have had in attracting space projects to their respective nations via export credit guarantees and how China has followed suit, Phil Slack, President of ILS, has revealed that Russia will now offer export loan guarantees itself via its new export/credit organisation, the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR).
Phil Slack, while talking at the Satellite 2014 conference in Washington D.C., noted that his more immediate difficulties was coping with the problem of how to fit his firm’s client satellites into the Proton launch schedule which it shares with Russian Government launches.
Space News has a fuller coverage Slack’s comments at Satelllite 2014 here.