The construction of space satellites in Russia has turned into a completely unprofitable business

Creation of a new Angolan satellite in exchange for the lost AngoSat-1 in orbit will cost RKK Energia $ 130 million. Another $ 200 million will be worth the free production of an analogue lost in orbit through the fault of the Russian manufacturer of the Egyptian satellite EgyptSat.
On Monday, the authorities of Angola officially recognized the loss of the AngoSat-1 telecommunications satellite, which was made for them by the Energia corporation, but agreed to order another similar device. Under the terms of the contract, Russian specialists must manufacture it in the Queen within 30 months. The financial conditions for Energia are extremely difficult: according to Kommersant's information, an insurance of $ 121 million will cover only half of the work on AngoSat-2. The rest of the amount, which, according to the most conservative estimates, is estimated at $ 130 million, the company will have to seek out independently.

The Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology of Angola, José Carvalho da Rocha, made a statement on the loss of the satellite after talks with the Russian delegation, which included the ambassador to the republic Vladimir Tararov, the deputy head of Roskosmos Sergey Savelyev, the head of the Space Council of the MIC board Oleg Frolov, Deputy General Designer of Energia Igor Frolov. According to the Angolan official, in the work of the device there were noticed "malfunctions" that made its use impossible. He confirmed Kommersant's information that the contract contains conditions under which the Russian side undertakes to create a second apparatus.

The AngoSat-1 satellite was launched on December 26, 2017 from the Baikonur cosmodrome with the help of the Zenit-3SLBF launch vehicle. It was put into a given orbit, but after a while the telemetric information from it ceased to arrive. Subsequently, the device left the radio visibility zone of Russian media, before that experts switched its power supply to sleep mode in the hope of taking it to management in April. But the attempt to succeed did not result: the problems in the power distribution unit turned out to be critical.

Mr. da Rocha stressed that as payment for the manufacture of the second satellite, insurance will be used, and the rest of the costs will be taken by the Russian side. According to the top manager of one of the enterprises, this item is the "heaviest burden" for "Energia". In 2011, $ 252 million was spent on the first device (in total, Russia provided Angola with several loans for $ 278.46 million), but the satellite itself was insured by VTB Insurance and SOGAZ for $ 121 million (in the proportion of 50 to 50). Given the wishes of the Angolans for the layout of the satellite, the amount, according to the source, "Kommersant", will be at least $ 250 million, so about $ 129 million the corporation will have to find independently (through loans, loans, etc.). The source of Kommersant in the government claims that for Russia this is not only a fashion but also a significant financial loss: "These funds could go to the creation of satellite systems for the development of the Arctic." At the same time, "Energy" literally just sorted out the debts of the Sea Launch project ("Sea Launch"), which for $ 167 million was bought by the co-owner of S7 Vladislav Filev.

The RKK chose not to dramatize the situation. In the press release of Energia they note the gratitude of the director of the office of space programs Joao Rui Zolan (Angola is proud of the management center built by Russian specialists in the Fund) and the head of this center Amaru Joao: "All software was installed by Russian specialists, we have no doubt that it is the best of what is in this area today. " And only after that they confirm the intention "to fulfill all contractual obligations on participation in the creation of the satellite communications and broadcasting system of Angola".

The Russian problems do not end there: as long as Energia will make a new satellite (about 30 months), the Angolans will receive the satellite frequencies of Russian satellites of the companies Gazprom-Space Systems and FSUE Kosmicheskaya Svyaz (C- and Ku-band), which will allow them to temporarily fill the loss of AngoSat-1. "This is the biggest compensation that we have achieved. This means that from April 23, we will already benefit, as if our satellite already worked in orbit, "the minister said to Jornal de Angola.

This is not the last international complexity of the "Energy". As Kommersant has been told by two top managers of space industry enterprises, RKK is creating EgyptSat-A Earth remote sensing satellite for Egypt: its predecessor was lost in 2015 due to the failure of the on-board computer due to "unfavorable conditions of space". The insurance company Sputnik paid the corporation $ 75 million, due to which it undertook to produce a similar device for the functionality. But it does not cover the cost of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, Kommersant source says: "As a result, the missile, which was originally prepared for launching another satellite, will be prepared for launching the Egyptian apparatus, and the Russian side will have to pay for the product, whose value is estimated at approximately 1.2 billion rubles. "