General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies and Stratosat Datacom (Pty) Ltd. will work together to deliver 64 radio-telescope antennas and ancillary electronic components for the South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope program, General Dynamics C4 Systems announced Thursday.
Under the 632 million rand ($75 million) contract, Stratosat and General Dynamics SATCOM will perform a minimum of 75 percent of the work in South Africa, maximizing the skill development and involvement of the country’s local industry. Work will include qualification testing, tooling design and almost all manufacturing.
Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, said “General Dynamics looks forward to leveraging our 50 years of radio astronomy experience to provide a unique capability to the global science community.”
All 64 antennas are expected to be in place by the end of 2016. The first antenna is scheduled to be installed in late 2013. General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies designed the radio telescope especially for the MeerKAT telescope array.
This contract was competitively procured under the South African National Treasury rules for government procurements. General Dynamics workforce from Duisburg, Germany, and Richardson, Texas, will also work on the project.