LORAL AND THREE Russian companies (RJSC Gasprom, RSC Energia and JSC Gascom) have established a company to manufacture, launch and operate geostationary- and elliptical-orbit communications satellites and to explore other joint ventures.

The spacecraft will be based on Energia's Yamal satellite bus and Loral Space's communications payloads. Gascom is the communications arm of the Gasprom natural gas production company.

The first two satellites, to be launched in 1997, will enlarge Gasprom's communications network and will be leased to provide television, radio and business services.

Source: Flight International