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Yahsat Contracts Airbus to Build Advanced Geostationary Satellites

Our Bureau - : Jun 11, 2024 - : 12:02 am

UAE-based Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat) announced a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the construction of its new geostationary telecommunications satellites, Al Yah 4 (AY4) and Al Yah 5 (AY5).

This development follows the signing of an Authorisation-to-Proceed with Airbus in the second quarter of 2023 to begin initial activities for the AY4 and AY5 satellite programme.

Airbus will design and manufacture the AY4 and AY5 satellites using the Eurostar Neo platform, which features flexible payloads. These payloads can be fully reconfigured while in orbit, allowing adjustments to the coverage area, capacity, and frequency to meet changing mission requirements.

The AY4 and AY5 satellites will provide secure governmental communications over a wide geographical area covering the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. These advanced satellites are intended to replace Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2, launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively, which were based on an earlier version of the Airbus-built Eurostar platform.

“Today marks a real milestone with Yahsat selecting our pioneering fully flexible satellite technology. Sixteen years ago, we signed our first contract with Yahsat, bringing the first sovereign telecommunications satellite to the UAE. And now, our long-standing relationship is moving up a gear with this contract for two Eurostar Neos, further strengthening Yahsat’s in-orbit resources,” said Alain Fauré, Head of Space Systems at Airbus.

“We are delighted to sign this contract with Airbus as part of our continuous efforts to enhance our satellite communications capabilities with the next generation of satellites. This is a significant step in Yahsat’s growth trajectory,” said Ali Al Hashemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat.

“The Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites will enable us to provide the UAE Government with new cutting-edge solutions. Additionally, the two new LEO satellite platforms will support Yahsat’s future direction of providing multi-orbit satellite solutions to its customers.”

In addition to designing and manufacturing the AY4 and AY5 satellites, Airbus will also provide ground control segment components. Both satellites will have a design life of 15 years and are scheduled for launch in 2027 and 2028.

Currently, Airbus is developing the Thuraya 4 (T4) satellite intended to serve both Yahsat’s UAE government customer and Thuraya’s customers. The T4, also based on the Eurostar Neo platform, is expected to be launched in the second half of 2024 and enter service in the second half of 2025.

The development of the Eurostar Neo platform and its flexible payloads has been supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and national space agencies across Europe.


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