The Brazilian market may become the “life Jacket” of the Israeli satellite industry.
The forecasted demand for satellites in the Latin American country may supply work to the space facilities in Israel that have been operating at very low capacity in recent years.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is accelerating its penetration of the Brazilian satellite market.
The company is manufacturing very advanced image and communications satellites.
Sources say that the Brazilian market will have a demand for 10-14 satellites in the next 15 years, most of them for imaging purposes in the 100-200kg (220-440lb) category.
Recently, the Brazilian authorities issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a high capability communications satellite.
In early April, IAI signalled it plans to penetrate the Brazilian defence market, by investing in electronics company IACIT. The Brazilian company works in the defence, radar meteorology and control, automation, communication and information technology segments.
IAI subsidiary ELTA Systems signed a co-operation agreement and through its subsidiary LARDOSA signed an agreement of investment with IACIT. The agreement includes the transfer of technology to the Brazilian company to position it to capture a significant part of the nation’s electronics market.
ELTA Systems is a major defence electronics company, providing a wide range of systems in the field of radars, special mission aircraft, ISTAR, electronic warfare and communication.
IAI has a parallel co-operation with aircraft manufacturer Embraer and this may also be part of its current penetration effort into Brazil’s fast-growing satellite market.
Competition will be tough and will involve many political considerations. But Israeli sources see the Brazilian market as a rare opportunity and the efforts will be appropriate.
The Israeli imaging satellite of the Offeq series and the Amos communications series are very efficient and have proved life spans that exceeded the projected ones.