In a not unexpected move, given that both firms concerned will share a common owner (Canada’s MacDonald Detwiller and Associates Ltd (MDA) already owns SSL and is about to become owner of DigitalGlobe (assuming its resubmission of transaction paperwork to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is accepted), DigitalGlobe has awarded the construction contract for its WorldView Legion constellation to US-based spacecraft manufacturer, SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral). The contract is reportedly valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars.
The constellation will provide high-resolution Earth timely imagery to DigitalGlobe. WorldView Legion will be built in SSL’s manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California USA, .
The constellation is a follow-on to DigitalGlobe’s existing WorldView satellites and to its planned Scout small-satellite constellation it is building with TAQNIA and KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology), DigitalGlobe will be able to image the most rapidly changing areas on Earth as frequently as every 20 to 30 minutes, from sunrise to sundown. SSL has entered into a firm-fixed price contract with DigitalGlobe to build the WorldView Legion satellites—the first of which is planned to launch in 2020—to replace the WorldView-1, WorldView-2, and GeoEye-1 satellites.