IAI to build Dror 1, Israel's communication satellite

The Dror 1 communication satellite is meant to serve the nation for 15 years once operational.

Dror 1  (photo credit: IAI)
Dror 1
(photo credit: IAI)
Defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will develop and build the State of Israel’s national communications satellite, “Dror 1,” the company has announced.
Dror 1 is intended to meet the country’s satellite communication needs for 15 years once operational. While no financial details were disclosed, development of the government-funded satellite will reportedly cost approximately $59 million.
The agreement between the government and IAI, the company said, implements a September 2018 government decision to advance Israeli space industry infrastructure and promote a long-term strategy for national satellite-based communication.
The satellite will be largely based on technologies developed locally by IAI, aiming to ensure Israel’s “complete independence” in the field of satellite communication and “preserve knowledge and expertise accumulated over the years” within the state.
“Israel Aerospace Industries is proud to develop and build the State of Israel’s Dror 1 communications satellite for the benefit of the essential satellite communication capabilities required by our state,” said Boaz Levy, executive vice-president of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Division.
“In recent years, Israel Aerospace Industries has invested considerable research and development budgets and efforts to maintain communications satellite capabilities in Israel, and the development of future communications satellites. We are delighted to begin Dror 1 - the most advanced Israeli communications satellite ever built in Israel, which incorporates many ‘blue and white’ technologies and the most advanced digital capabilities.”
The satellite will be developed by IAI’s Systems Missiles & Space Division, previously tasked with a long list of critical defense projects, including the development of the Barak 8 surface-to-air missile, the Arrow 2 and 3 anti-ballistic missiles, and a series of advanced satellite systems including observation and nano satellites.
IAI also partnered with nonprofit SpaceIL to develop the Beresheet lunar lander, which crashed into the Moon’s surface in April 2019.