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Israel plans to build their own communication satellites. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was awarded a contract to develop and build “Dror 1”. Dror 1 is intended to meet the satellite communication needs of Israel for the next 15 years. Planned capabilities are an advanced digital communication payload and “smartphone in space” capabilities, to provide communication agility throughout the satellite’s lifetime in space.

The agreement signed between the Israeli government and IAI represents the initiation of the government’s decision to promote a long-term strategy for Israeli satellite communications from September 2018. This stems from the understanding that the capability for communication independence is of critical national importance, as well as to enable the preservation of the knowledge and expertise that has been accumulated by Israel over the past years.

The new satellite will be developed by IAI’s Systems, Missile, and Space Group which is dedicated to developing and building air defense systems, such as the Barak MX, the Arrow 2 and 3 weapon system, advanced observation satellites, nano-satellites, satellite launchers, as well as the Beresheet lunar lander, which reached the moon in 2019. IAI is the national hub of expertise for radars, satellites, UAVs, civil aviation, and cyber.

Dorothee Frank