IDEX 2023: Decision on preferred vendor expected soon for UAE satellite project

by Olivia Savage Feb 24, 2023, 10:50 AM

A decision on the preferred vendor for the UAE's satellite programme, which seeks two geostationary (GEO) satellites, is expected in 2023.

Yahsat has been mandated to launch Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 by 2026. Pictured is Al Yah 3, Orbital ATK's first satellite built on the GEOStar-3 platform. (Orbital ATK)

A decision on the preferred vendor for the UAE's satellite programme, which seeks two geostationary (GEO) satellites, is expected in 2023.

UAE-based company Yahsat is currently in the process of evaluating bids, with a decision expected, following government approval, in 2023 to determine which preferred supplier will manufacture the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites, Eisa Al Shamsi, general manager at Yahsat Government Solutions, told Janes at IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

The satellites, intended for both government and commercial users, will be an off-the-shelf solution to minimise risk and must be launched by 2026. This is because the Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites will reach their “initial end of life by 2026”, he said. However, the existing satellites will remain operational for several years as their in-service life will be extended, he added.

Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 will have increased capacity and double the bandwidth compared with the existing systems, he said.

Yahsat is a UAE-based satellite company that operates five satellites, which deliver communications services to government and commercial users in the UAE. The systems include Al Yah 1, 2, and 3, as well as Thuraya 2 and 3. Together they offer C-, L-, Ka-, and Ku-band services.

Al Shamsi was unable to detail which companies have bid for the programme.

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