5 Jul 2022 16:56

Roscosmos head Rogozin proposes nationalizing space microelectronics

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin has proposed that the government nationalize enterprises producing microelectronics for satellites and hand them over to Roscosmos and Rosatom.

"The subject of building satellites remains one of the most alarming in our country to consider precisely due to the lack of access to element bases resistant to radiation. So I would propose nationalizing this industry and transferring it to the operational control of Roscosmos and Rosatom," the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos quoted Rogozin in its statement as saying.

Rogozin earlier met with staff working at Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, a satellite manufacturing company, to discuss prospects for doubling the Russian satellite constellation and some problematic issues concerning microelectronics production.

"You'll have a lot of work to do. The question is to what degree those jobs that we don't have in hand can be done from a technical perspective, I mean the same element base. This is our weak point. We have to sit down together and think about how to solve the problem," he said.

On March 15, Rogozin said that Roscosmos had bought a stake in the Yaroslavl Radio Plant from AFK Sistema and consolidated it with its Russian Space Systems (RSS) space equipment engineering holding.

On February 26, he said that the company would be able to buy parts for satellites from China, as supplies of these components could be limited due to the sanctions.

Earlier in June 2021, Rogozin said that the U.S. sanctions restricting shipments of microelectronics affected dozens of Russian satellites. The launches of several satellites were to be delayed because of the sanctions, he said at the time.

Roscosmos First Deputy CEO for Economy and Finance Maxim Ovchinnikov said earlier in an interview with Interfax that Roscosmos had encountered refusals by several companies to supply component parts. He also revealed that Roscosmos could not fulfil a number of government contracts on time, as its access to critical technology was restricted under U.S. sanctions.

These things negatively effect "the economy of the [particular] enterprise and that of the entire corporation," Ovchinnikov said at the time.