Russia is starting major upgrades to its Arctic communications infrastructure, part of larger Russian efforts to promote the development of the Arctic region, notably through the development of polar air and sea routes. And they are inviting Canadian firms to participate.

The Artika project will provide coverage of the Arctic region, for mobile routing communication (air-traffic and sea-routes control for cross-polar and Northern Sea routes) and possibly a whole other range of communication services, with social and economic applications. ISS Reshetnev is the major Russian designer, developer, and manufacturer of satellite systems and has been working on developing the Arktika-MS satellite communication system.

The system would be composed of the satellite communication system (4 satellites) and would be supported by the ground-segment infrastructure (GES stations; network management centers; user terminals).

ISS Reshetnev has identified different areas of the project where supplier partnerships are needed and where interested Canadian companies could participate. This participation could take different shapes from the manufacturing of parts and equipment to financing and building the infrastructure.

The main areas in which Canadian participation and collaboration might be successful, according to ISS Reshetnev, include the following:

  • Payload manufacturing (satellite on-board telecommunication equipment);

  • Communication network control centers in Canada (equipment and actually building the network);

  • Components of on-board equipment manufacturing (hardware-software units, transmitting-receiving units);

  • User terminals (stationary and mobile, transmitter-receiver terminals for aircrafts, helicopters, cars and other users); and

  • Additional satellite payload manufacturing (other possible usages are possible, as the satellite radio visibility area includes the USA).

To engage in the process Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) suggests that firms in Newfoundland and Labrador contact Tony Roche, their trade commissioner serving the ocean technology sector in DFAIT’s St. John’s office (; tel  . 772 7469). He in turn will refer companies to the DFAIT contact in Moscow.

To view a PDF of a slide presentation by the developer CLICK HERE.

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