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Iridium Chooses Three Partners To Design Next-gen Satellite Network

Iridium Satellite today said that it has reached an agreement with three companies to design its next-generation satellite networked "NEXT", which is scheduled to go into operation by 2013. Over the next five months, Lockheed Martin, Loral and Thales Alenia Space will develop design concepts, review critical engineering trades and evaluate performance and capabilities required for NEXT along with the costs to manufacture and launch the system, Iridium said. Eventually, the group of three will be cut down to only two for the "detailed system development phase of the procurement process."

In August of last year, Iridium selected Avaliant, Boeing, General Dynamics, KinetX, MicroSat Systems and Trident Sensors to develop the system engineering, requirements definition and architecture of NEXT.