SANSWIRE CORP. has announced that defense-contractor Global Telesat Corp. (GTC) has agreed to purchase a 50-percent interest in one SkySat airship for $250,000. GTC has an option to purchase the remaining 50 percent for an additional $750,000. The agreement states that Sanswire will initially receive $250,000 from GTC in exchange for a 50-percent interest in one SkySat airship. Sanswire will immediately deliver the existing airship to a facility designated by Global Telesat, whereupon GTC will make a first payment of $50,000 within three days of inspection. This payment will be followed by four additional payments of $50,000each at 30-day intervals.

Sanswire also granted GTC the option to acquire the remaining 50-percent interest in the airship for an additional $750,000. GTC must make an initial payment of $250,000 within 10 business days upon exercising that option. That payment will be followed by two additional payments of $250,000--each at 30-day intervals. The option expires on Dec. 31, 2010.

GTC requires that Sanswire use the $250,000 in proceeds to complete development work that will enable the airship to be tested and demonstrated to potential customers. The companies plan to work together, as well as with third-party US-government-certified defense contractors, to integrate approved ground-station controls and electronics packages into the airship.

The SkySat is Sanswire's mid-altitude, lighter-than-air UaV platform (see photo). The airship was designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (iSr) missions performed at altitudes up to 45,000 ft. Sanswire and GTC intend to upgrade the airship to improve its viability for multipurpose defense and communications operations. More specifically, the two companies plan to develop a flexible platform that will allow the SkySat to accommodate a range of customer requirements.