Russia calls for handing over key satellite components

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Russia calls for handing over key satellite components

Russia s space agency chief believes that enterprises producing critical satellite components should be handed over to the state.

Russian officials should take control over companies producing key satellite components like radiation-hardened electronics, the head of Russian Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Tuesday.

Russia is looking to double its satellite fleet, Rogozin said during a meeting with the staff of a satellite-manufacturing plant that is part of Roscosmos. He said Moscow would like to have more satellites providing a wide range of services from satellite communications for the Armed Forces to broadband internet access and the internet of things.

The Roscosmos chief admitted that satellite manufacturing remains an issue of major concern due to the lack of certain components, like radiation-hardened microelectronics. Rogozin said that this issue was our weak link and called for it to be resolved.

He said that I would recommend nationalizing these industries and handing them over to Roscosmos and the Russian State Atomic Agency Rosatom. The Kremlin has not commented on Rogozin's proposal so far.

In late February, the Russian space agency chief said Roscosmos might purchase the necessary components in China if Western nations added them to the list of sanctioned goods. As early as June 2021, the space agency admitted that US sanctions on selling microelectronics to Russia had hit the nation's satellite manufacturing industry and disrupted the launch of several satellites.

Roscosmos has seen some of its suppliers refuse to provide components to the Russian side, the space agency's first deputy head for economy and finances, Maksim Ovchinnikov, told Russia's Interfax news agency on Tuesday. He said that the US sanctions have barred the agency from accessing key technologies, making it impossible for Roscosmos to fulfill its obligations under several government contracts.

The United States and its allies responded to Moscow launching a military operation in Ukraine in late February by slapping Russia with a record number of sanctions, targeting its banking and finance sectors, as well as the aviation and space industries.

In March, a major US space industry conference censored the name of Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut and the first human in space, explaining that it was due to current world events. The European Space Agency indefinitely postponed its ExoMars rover mission because of anti-Russian sanctions. The launch of the rover was supposed to be done in partnership with Russia and was initially scheduled for later this year.