"We hope to sign the satellite launch contract by the middle of April. If the contract is signed, the launch may take place at the end of 2018," Leonid Macridenko, the Head of Russia’s Space Monitoring Systems, Information and Control and Electromechanical Complexes (VNIIEM), said on Wednesday, the Tass news agency reported.
A preliminary agreement on the satellite launch was signed at the MAKS-2015 air show.
The Iranian company of Bonyan Danesh Shargh inked the agreement on building the system with the Russian companies of NPK BARL and VNIIEM.
Under the agreement, the Russian corporations will help the Iranian firm create a remote-sensing system which can be employed for collecting information about the Earth's surface, atmosphere and oceans. The launch will take place on a Russian Soyuz carrier rocket.
Iran successfully launched into orbit its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), back on February 2, 2009.
As part of a comprehensive plan to develop its space program, Iran also successfully launched its second satellite, dubbed Rassad (Observation), into the earth’s orbit in June 2011. Rassad’s mission was to take images of the earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.
The country’s third domestically-built Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) satellite was sent into orbit in February 2012.