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Astrium and Thales Alenia Space partners of Arabsat for two more satellites


Riyadh.– ARABSAT has selected the consortium of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space to build and deliver in orbit two new satellites, Arabsat 5C and Arabsat 6B. The manufacturing contracts were signed in Riyadh on 4 February 2009 by Eng. Khalid Balkheyour ARABSAT president and François Auque, CEO of Astrium, and Reynald Seznec, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.

Eng. Khalid Balkheyour said: “These contracts for manufacturing and launching two satellites are within the strategic plan of Arabsat that calls for launching a satellite every year up to 2012.” He also added that: “During the last two years, we successfully launched Badr-4 and Badr-6 and we are now getting ready to launch two more satellites, one at the end of this year and one at the beginning of next. We are proud of the work and the relationship with the manufacturing and launching companies Astrium, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace. We all, at Arabsat, wish for this successful partnership to continue and prosper.”

François Auque, CEO of Astrium, speaking on behalf of the industrial consortium, expressed his delight at working alongside ARABSAT and added: “I am very proud that the Arab Satellite Communications Organization ARABSAT and its Board of Directors have placed their trust again in Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for the manufacture and in-orbit delivery of these new satellites, the sixth and the seventh our team will have built for ARABSAT. Our European space industry consortium is pleased to support ARABSAT in the realisation of this significant new step in the development of their successful business.”

Astrium and Thales Alenia Space are jointly responsible for building the satellites and delivering them in orbit. Astrium, the leading partner, will supply the Eurostar E3000 platforms and integrate the satellites. Thales Alenia Space will design and build the communications payloads. The team will also upgrade the ground control segment for the extended Arabsat satellite fleet.

Arabsat-5C, a multi-mission satellite, will provide satellite capacity in both C-band and Ka-band frequencies at the Arabsat position 20°E for a wide range of satellite communications services. A Eurostar E3000 model equipped with a payload featuring 26 active transponders in C-band and 12 in Ka-band, Arabsat-5C will have a spacecraft power of 10kW at the end of its 15-year design lifetime.

Arabsat-6B will be co-located with the rest of ARABSAT’s BADR constellation of Direct-To-Home satellites at its 26° East video “hot-spot”, extending in-orbit capacity for television services. Also a Eurostar E3000 model, equipped with a payload featuring 36 active transponders in Ku-band, Arabsat-6B will have a spacecraft power of 10.5kW at the end of its 15-year design lifetime.

Both satellites will weigh less than 5 tonnes and will be launched by Ariane 5 in the timeframe 2010-2012.


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