It plans to create a network of 900 satellites, most of which will be sent into orbit by 21 Soyuz launch vehicles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the Guiana Space Center.
The contract for the launch was signed by OneWeb, Arianspace, and Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities in 2015. It will cost OneWeb $1 billion to have the satellites sent into orbit, Igor Komarov, Roscosmos’ former CEO, said after signing the deal.
Speaking at a conference in Moscow, Federal Security Service official Vladimir Sadovnikov said the FSB was against the project servicing Russia for security reasons since it could potentially hand a foreign Internet service provider a monopoly over rural and remote areas.
‘Some of Russia’s regions would become totally dependent on a foreign satellite service,’ Sadovnikov said.
He added that Russia favored setting up a similar network partnering with India, China, and countries which he described as non-aggressive.