JERUSALEM (Reuters) – -owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) [ISRAI.UL] said on Thursday it signed with the Israeli government to build the country’s next communication .

The satellite, to be called Dror-1, is supposed to operate for 15 years, handling Israel’s satellite communication needs, and will be built mostly from locally-developed . The company did not disclose financial details.

“The government’s decision was made from the understanding that this is a vital capability of the state of Israel and it requires ensuring independence in the field, while preserving the knowledge and expertise accumulated over the years in Israel,” IAI said in a .

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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