Media Release: August 11, 2023

$2.1B contract for 198 satellites is the largest award in MDA’s history

August 11, 2023 (Brampton, Ontario) - MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced it has been selected as the prime contractor for Telesat’s (NASDAQ and TSX: TSAT) revolutionary Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation Telesat Lightspeed, an innovative global network that will bring enhanced digital connectivity to Canadians and customers worldwide. Valued at approximately $2.1 billion, the contract is the largest in MDA’s history and includes the design, manufacture, assembly and test of 198 satellites with options for Telesat to purchase up to 100 additional satellites.


Telesat Lightspeed is the second prime satellite contract for a LEO constellation awarded to MDA in the past eighteen months. These major wins demonstrate tangible results from our multi-year strategy and investments to capitalize on the growing global market demand for satellite services for communications and other applications.


“We’re pleased to partner with Telesat to use the combined world-leading talent and technology of our teams to bring the Telesat Lightspeed mission to life,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA. “Our ability to leverage MDA’s strategic investments in our new digital satellite product portfolio and advanced manufacturing capability to deliver significant cost and schedule benefits to Telesat Lightspeed is another tangible example of how we are strengthening and securing MDA’s position at the heart of the rapidly growing global LEO constellation and satellite systems market.”


The Telesat Lightspeed satellites will be built, assembled and tested at MDA’s state-of-the-art high volume satellite manufacturing facilities in Montreal. Our production lines leverage Industry 5.0 techniques including AI, automation, cobots, augmented reality and highly-skilled assemblers to meet the accelerated rates required for high volume non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite systems. With this contract, Telesat becomes the anchor customer for MDA’s new software-defined digital satellite product line.


“We are excited to be moving forward on the Telesat Lightspeed program with MDA in an expanded role that enables us to leverage MDA’s innovative and advanced digital satellite products and real-world experience as a satellite prime for LEO programs,” said Dan Goldberg, President and CEO of Telesat. “MDA’s next-generation on-board processor and direct radiating array antennas with digital beamforming roughly triples the number of beams per satellite. This will enable us to achieve significant cost improvements and network efficiency, including better link performance and greater flexibility in geographic coverage. With program funding now in place and MDA selected as the satellite prime contractor, we look forward to making Telesat Lightspeed a reality and delivering unparalleled high capacity, secure, resilient and affordable broadband connectivity everywhere in the world.” 

“As a global leader in the new space economy, Canada is proud to see two domestic champions join forces on this flagship Canadian program to create high-skilled jobs and support cutting-edge innovation in the telecom industry, helping unlock economic and social opportunities in Canada’s rural and remote communities,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Canada remains a strong supporter of Telesat Lightspeed and will continue to help solve some of the most pressing challenges we face here on Earth, from bridging the digital divide, to health, climate change, national security, and more.”


To support increasing customer demand as the industry transitions from analog to digital satellite technologies, MDA is bringing to market a new software-defined digital satellite product line, providing critical new solutions to satellite operators and prime manufacturers. The fully integrated portfolio includes a complete range of modular digital products and components for space-based communication solutions coupled with advanced high-volume manufacturing capable of producing two satellites a day, dramatically reducing production costs and schedule. MDA will introduce its new software-defined digital satellite product line during World Satellite Business Week in September.


The Telesat Lightspeed contract will be added to MDA's backlog in the third quarter of fiscal 2023.  


Conference Call and Webcast on August 11, 2023

As a reminder, MDA will be releasing its Q2 2023 financial results on August 11, 2023 before market open. MDA’s management team looks forward to discussing these results as well as the Telesat Lightspeed contract award on its conference call and webcast starting at 11:00 am ET on Friday, August 11, 2023. Details to access the conference call and webcast can be found on MDA’s Investor Relations website.



Serving the world from its Canadian home and global offices, MDA (TSX:MDA) is an international space mission partner and a robotics, satellite systems and geointelligence pioneer with a 50-year story of firsts on and above the Earth. With over 2,800 employees across Canada, the US and the UK, MDA is leading the charge towards viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more. With a track record of making space ambitions come true, MDA enables highly skilled people to continually push boundaries, tackle big challenges, and imagine solutions that inspire and endure to change the world for the better, on the ground and in the stars. Learn more by visiting



This press release contains forward–looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which reflects the Company's current expectations regarding future events. Forward–looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's control, which could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward–looking information. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed under "Risk Factors" in MDA’s Annual Information Form available on SEDAR at MDA does not undertake any obligation to update such forward–looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.



Amy MacLeod

Vice President, Corporate Communications




Shereen Zahawi

Senior Director, Investor Relations