Continuing its support of the space industry in America, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has authorized a $105.4 million loan to Space Communication of Ramat Gan, Israel, to finance the Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launch of the Amos-6 communications satellite, the purchase of American made-solar arrays, and insurance brokered by Marsh USA.
According to a release, the transaction is Ex-Im Bank's third in support of a SpaceX launch, and it will support approximately 600 U.S. jobs, according to bank estimates derived from Departments of Commerce and Labor data and methodology. In June of 2013, Ex-Im Bank announced that it had approved financing for the launches of two satellites manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, and in November of 2012 the Bank announced that it had approved financing for the launches of two Boeing-manufactured satellites.
"Ex-Im Bank is always ready to help the American space industry boost its international sales and export its products to important markets," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "Our support of American launches and exports levels the playing field for U.S. companies and keeps highly-skilled, well-paying jobs on American soil."
Satellite financing represents Ex-Im Bank's most prominent stand- out sector in the Bank's newly transformed portfolio. Just three years ago, satellites accounted for only $50 million in authorizations per year. This year numbers as the third consecutive year in which Ex-Im Bank's satellite sector authorizations will have topped $1 billion.
Amos-6, a geosynchronous satellite, will replace Space Communication's Amos-2 and cover markets in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The satellite will also provide pan- European coverage and broadband services in Europe and Africa.
The launch is scheduled for 2015.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. It is the first private company to build, launch, and dock spacecraft at the International Space Station, a mission previously accomplished only by government space entities.
"We appreciate Ex-Im Bank's support of both SpaceX and the U.S. space industry," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer. "With export financing for contracts like the AMOS-6 mission, Ex-Im Bank helps SpaceX compete successfully with international launch service providers, bringing overseas satellite launch business and high-tech jobs back to American soil."
ATK Space Systems Inc., a participant in the transaction and a manufacturer of the solar arrays for the satellite, is a member of the ATK Aerospace Group. The company provides a portfolio of products and services that include integrated satellite bus systems, multidisciplinary engineering services, and integrated thermal- control systems.
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