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UAE company Yahsat selects Airbus to build GEO satellites

Airbus has been selected to build the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites for Yahsat, which will provide services to the UAE government. Pictured here is the Al Yah 3 satellite. (Orbital ATK)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-basedYahsat, a public organisation owned by the government of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Company, has selected Airbus to deliver the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 geostationary (GEO) satellite communications (satcom) systems.

According to Airbus on 10 June, the satellites will be based on its Eurostar Neo platform, with flexible multiband payloads that can be reconfigured in orbit, enabling the adjustment of the coverage area, capacity, and frequency to meet evolving mission scenarios.

The satellites, intended for both government and commercial users, will replace the Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Airbus will design and manufacture both satellites and provide ground control segment components. The spacecraft will have a design life of 15 years and are scheduled to launch in 2027 and 2028 respectively, the company detailed.

The general manager at Yahsat Government Solutions, Eisa Al Shamsi, previously told Janes at IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi that the satellites must be launched by 2026 as Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 will reach their “initial end of life by 2026”. However, the existing satellites will remain operational for several years as their in-service life will be extended, he added.

At the time, Al Shamsi was unable to detail which companies were bidding for the programme, although he did note that the preferred bidder would be determined in 2023.

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

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