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Kleos Space locks in ‘nation state’ satellite client

Max Blenkin

ASX-listed Kleos Space has confirmed it will provide a satellite solution to a ‘nation state’ customer, marking a major milestone for the company as it prepares for a big 2020.

Kleos Space locks in ‘nation state’ satellite client
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Space company Kleos said it has reached agreement to co-operate and collaborate with an unnamed nation state to use Kleos satellite data to enhance their maritime geospatial intelligence and analytics capability.

That country is described only as a sea-bound nation state.

“Kleos has secured a relationship with an exceptionally well resourced and intelligent nation state end-user facing continued challenges in policing its coast. Kleos will benefit greatly from the synergies this relationship offers,” Kleos Space chief executive Andy Bowyer.

“This development brings an enormous strategic benefit to Kleos, bringing an entry for Kleos directly into government opportunities. It offers the opportunity to test and validate Kleos data in a challenging end-user environment.

“The lessons we learn will position Kleos well as we engage further directly with governments.”

Kleos, based in Luxembourg and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, plans to launch a constellation of 20 satellites providing global monitoring of maritime radio frequencies.

That allows accurate location of vessels in distress, as well as those seeking to avoid attention by not broadcasting automatic identification system (AIS) signals, the maritime version of aircraft transponder identification systems.

Government agencies can use that information to enhance border and maritime security and safety. It’s also of great interest to port operators and the insurance sector.

The Kleos Scouting Mission satellites will launch into a 37-degree inclination, delivering data collected over key regions of maritime interest for defence and security customers.

That includes the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, Australian coast, Southern US coast as well as the east and western African coast.

Kleos’ first four satellites, called the Kleos Scouting Mission, were scheduled for launch on the Indian Space Research Organisation Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C49 mission from Chennai, India, in December but that will now occur in early 2020.

Under the new nation state agreement, Kleos and the country will investigate opportunities to collaborate and develop a value-added proposition for current and future state and regional maritime opportunities.

They will also jointly develop a future commercial relationship including government procurement strategies, develop and implement scenario modelling and demonstration pilots to validate technical usability and application of Kleos data.

As well, they will develop a mutual commercial strategy for allied states.

The company said it currently viewed the relationship with the nation state as not material to its financial situation as revenue that might be generated by the relationship could not be quantified at this time.

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