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The competition heats up: The Putin government’s newly released draft plan for Russia’s space industry includes the development of a new communications satellite constellation.
In addition to encrypted mobile communications, the Ellips satellites will support air-traffic control and traditional fixed communications. Reflecting its dual (civilian and military) application, the Ellips project would be funded jointly by the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, and by the Russian Ministry of Defense at a price tag of 65.6 billion rubles to develop and deploy the constellation.
The article then goes on to detail at length the problems the Russian communications satellite industry has had for the past two decades, including their inability to build satellites that will last in orbit as long as their competitors.