"This is another achievement to Israel Aerospace Industries, which is
the prime contactor for all space-related programs in Israel," IAI president
Itzhak Nissan said. "IAI has a proven record of success in space."
Executives said the first test of the satellite systems was successful.
They said that within hours of launch Amos-3 opened its antenna and solar
panels. Full communications and broadcast operations were expected to begin
in several weeks.
IAI has been operating Amos-1 and Amos-2 communications satellites.
Amos-3, built for Israel's Space Communications and with a shelf life of 18
years, was meant to replace Amos-1, which began operating in 1996.
"Amos-3 communications satellite, with its improved capabilities, will
allow Spacecom to broaden its line of services," IAI said.
IAI has been developing the next generation of communication satellites.
Executives said the next-generation Amos-4 would contain enhanced