On the Airbus New Deal

Akorda is planning to purchase yet another satellite. Based on our sources, the Airbus aerospace concern, once again, will play the role of the supplier. Yes, exactly, that very same concern that is being investigated by the French authorities in connections with the bribes and the corruption schemes of its top-management. Let us tell you all about it in detail.

On February 23, 2018, at the National Space Center, the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry held a meeting that totaled up the results of 2017 and discussed the main tasks for 2018. It was done “in light of implementing the Presidential Address to the People of the Republic of Kazakhstan called “New Possibilities for Development under the Conditions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The space sector was discussed among other subjects.

Here is a quote from the press release prepared by the Aerospace Committee of the Ministry of Defense and the Aerospace Industry.

“In the current year, the Ministry will continue its work on the infrastructural development of the space sector, the renewal of the national satellite fleet, widening the export possibilities, commercializing the projects. It will continue implementing the roadmap for the project of creating a new, ecologically safe space missile complex Bayterek as well as working on excluding the objects of the Zenit-M missile complex ground-based space infrastructure from those rented by Russia and handing them over to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The KazSat satellite communication system, the ERS-system satellites are functioning normally while successfully ensuring the implementation of the tasks in the fields of economy, defense, and national security. During 2017, the KazSat system yielded a return of more than 5 bln tenge ensuring the import phaseout in the amount of 12 bln tenge due to decreasing the use of the foreign satellites’ resources. In 2017, thanks to the ERS space system, the state agencies and organizations received space images of the Earth surface with a total area of 11.5 mln square km in the amount of 1.2 bln tenge. Note that the import phaseout constituted more than 12 bln tenge”.

According to the insider information, to augment the national space fleet, the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry is planning to order yet another craft this year. And even though the technical requirements for it have not yet been approved and the tender for delivery and maintenance has not yet been announced, the subcontractor will be… the Airbus space holding.

We are sure of it because, based on the insider information, the confidential talks between the unofficial representatives of the client and the supplier as to the size of the “compensation package” payable to some very influential Kazakhstanis capable of promoting this business deal have already begun.

Note that, earlier, Airbus had repeatedly been accused of using corruption schemes to promote their products on the international markets including Kazakhstan. For more information on the subject, read our article The Airbus Scandal and Musabayev’s Resignation  or one of the articles published in the Russian press, for instance, this one.

In particular, these and other publications in the Western press report on the money transfer (8 mln euros, presumably), through Singapore, to Kazakhstan government officials as part of the satellites purchase deal.

Thus, even though the investigation against the Airbus top-managers is continuing in France at the moment, it looks like it cannot break the long-lived smooth-running and effectively working mechanism that ensures that all the participants of such deals will not only end up wrapped in money but also will not face any criminal prosecution whatsoever.

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