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Sci-Tech
Friday Jul 03 2020
By
AFP

UK govt, Indian firm rescue satellite operator Oneweb

By
AFP
An artist’s conception shows a OneWeb satellite in space .— AFP/Files

LONDON: The UK government and Indian telecoms giant Bharti are to take control of collapsed satellite firm Oneweb, they said Friday, as Britain seeks to expand its post-Brexit space capability.

Britain and Bharti will each invest $500 million (444 million euros) into Oneweb, the UK government said in a statement, after it departed the European Union's Galileo satellite programme with its exit from the bloc earlier this year.

The deal is aimed at delivering Britains "first UK sovereign space capability" since it departed from the EU on January 31, said a statement Friday.

"The move signals the government's ambition for the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies through the ownership of a fleet of Low Earth orbit satellites," it added.

Britain will take a "significant" equity share in the company, while Bharti will provide commercial and operational leadership for the venture.