Yahsat contracts Airbus for new GEO satellites

Yahsat contracts Airbus for new GEO satellites

UAE-headquartered satellite solutions provider Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) says it has contracted satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space for its new geostationary (GEO) telecommunications satellites, Al Yah 4 (AY4) and Al Yah 5 (AY5).

Airbus will design and build the AY4 and AY5 satellites based on the Eurostar Neo platform, with each having flexible payloads. The flexible multi-band payloads can be fully reconfigured while in orbit, capable of adjusting the coverage area, capacity and frequency ‘on the fly’ to meet evolving mission scenarios.

Eurostar Neo is described as both a high-performance communications satellites suited to all communications missions, and also a fully customisable GEO satellite platform for a wide range of missions, up to very high capacity.

Yahsat says both AY4 and AY5 satellites will offer secure governmental communications over a wide geographical area across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. The new advanced satellites will eventually replace Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2, which were launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively and based on a previous version of the Airbus-built Eurostar platform.

Airbus will design and manufacture both satellites and will also provide ground control segment components. Both spacecraft will have a design life of 15 years. Al Yah 1 is planned to be launched in 2027; Al Yah 2 will follow in 2028.

The full cost of the AY4 and AY5 procurement programme, encompassing spacecraft, ground segment infrastructure, launch and insurance, is expected to reach approximately USD$1.1 billion. The programme will initially be funded using Yahsat’s own resources ahead of the receipt of US$1.0 billion in the form of an advance payment from the UAE government.

Airbus is currently developing the Thuraya 4 satellite (T4) for Yahsat Government Solutions as well as Yahsat’s commercial satellite solutions arm, Thuraya. T4 is also based on the Eurostar Neo platform and is due to be launched in the second half of 2024. It will enter service in the second half of 2025.


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