US sanctions against the Russian space industry are actually targeted against another competitor of the Americans – European companies, a source in the Russian space and rocket sector told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.
“Formally the US sanctions impede the export of dual- and military-purpose technology to Russia. However, it is evident that a ready satellite does not refer to this category because by taking a satellite, Russia gets a piece of hardware, not technology.
So firstly European satellite producers and European satellite communications operators – customers of Russian launch services – will be affected by the US actions,” the source said.
“The situation becomes critical for the second category of European companies – SES, Inmarsat, Eutelsat groups – when they are told that they cannot launch their satellites with Russian launchers,” the source said.
“Every satellite is adapted for a certain launcher. The satellite will have to be altered upon a change of the launcher and this will require a certain amount of time.
“Operators have filed applications for resources but they will have to file these applications all over again due to delays with launches. Plus, a number of components will have to be changed on the satellites awaiting launch because, otherwise, insurers will not agree with the timeline of the satellites stipulated by producers,” the source said.
According to the assessment of the source, the delay of the launch of new satellites, for which Russian launchers were planned to be used, could amount to two or three years. According to the existing information, several commercial launches of the Russian rocket Proton were planned by the end of 2014.