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Telesat and MDA Pioneer 198-Satellite LEO Network Project

Canadarm maker MDA to Spearhead Manufacturing for Telesat Lightspeed’s LEO Satellite Constellation

Today’s a big day for satellite tech. Telesat, a global satellite giant, partners with MDA Ltd. They’re creating 198 cutting-edge satellites. This is part of the Telesat Lightspeed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) plan.

The new Telesat Lightspeed network taps into MDA’s advanced digital antennas and a unique processor. This means better network efficiency and more adaptability. Plus, each satellite gets a sleeker design without losing service quality.

“True to our values, MDA has been committed to being a trusted Telesat Lightspeed mission partner since the beginning, and our proven performance as a LEO constellation satellite prime contractor will now be leveraged to take the constellation forward. We believe in Telesat’s mission and vision and are excited that our software-defined digital satellite product will be a key enabler in meeting their goals as we work together to usher in the next generation of space-based satellite communications.”

Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA.

Thanks to these modern satellites, Telesat predicts savings of US$2 billion for the project. This huge cost cut boosts the Lightspeed program’s funding and its financial prospects.

Legacy Meets Future

Drawing from Telesat’s 54-year engineering history, the Lightspeed network meets high standards for business and government. With the MDA deal sealed, satellites launch in mid-2026. Polar and global services launch in late 2027.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Telesat team for their innovative work to further optimize our Telesat Lightspeed design – which was already a highly advanced and high performing LEO network”

resulting in dramatically reduced costs with unmatched enterprise-class service offerings,” stated Dan Goldberg, President and CEO of Telesat.

Telesat’s leader, Dan Goldberg, praises his team’s innovation and the partnership with MDA. MDA’s CEO, Mike Greenley, echoes the enthusiasm, emphasizing their joint vision.

Telesat gets a financial boost of US$2 billion from Canadian governments. Combined with Telesat’s own funding, the Lightspeed project is set to soar. The goal? Global service starts once 156 satellites are in space.

A Vision with Impact

Telesat Lightspeed isn’t just business—it’s a vision for Canada. It’s the biggest space project in Canadian history, promising economic boosts, new jobs, and fresh innovation. It’s Canada’s answer to global digital gaps and challenges.

“As a global leader in the new space economy, Canada is proud to see two domestic champions join forces on this flagship Canadian program to create high-skilled jobs and support cutting-edge innovation in the telecom industry, helping unlock economic and social opportunities in Canada’s rural and remote communities. Canada remains a strong supporter of Telesat Lightspeed and will continue to help solve some of the most pressing challenges we face here on Earth, from bridging the digital divide, to health, climate change, national security, and more.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, backs this partnership. He highlights Canada’s goals, from bridging digital gaps to tackling climate issues.


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