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

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 technology. 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 complete independence in the field, while preserving the knowledge and expertise accumulated over the years in Israel,” IAI said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)