Russian Govt. Demands More Efficient Spacecraft Production

MIRNY (Arkhangelsk region), February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russian spacecraft manufacturers will face stiffer penalties for failure to meet production deadlines, the deputy prime minister responsible for the sector said Wednesday.

Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s defense and space industries, said that domestic spacecraft production, especially of commercial satellites, had been dogged by delays and inferior quality.

“We certainly need a completely different level of discipline and responsibility in this area,” he said after a government meeting on reform of the space industry, chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Rogozin said the government would introduce stronger penalties for companies that did not manufacture and deliver spacecraft on schedule. He did not specify what the penalties would be.

An Audit Chamber report in July last year concluded that the country’s space industry was ineffective and plagued by poor management and misuse of funds.

It said Russia had only launched 47 percent of the required number of satellites between 2010 and 2012.

Rogozin said that Russia has high expectations of the proposed United Rocket and Space Corporation, which will introduce a unified technical policy and reduce costs by consolidating dozens of domestic spacecraft developers and manufacturers.

The minister said the move should help Russia to boost the commercial profitability of its space assets as the country is lagging behind the United States in such areas as satellite-assisted cartography, Earth remote-sensing, navigation and communications.

According to a report by the US-based Satellite Industry Association, the global satellite industry was worth $189.5 billion in 2012.

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