UAE-based satellite operator Yahsat has announced its manufacturing and launch partners for the company’s recently announced third satellite—Al Yah 3—set to be launched in Q4 2016.
Within a decade of operation by Yahsat, the third satellite extends the firm’s commercial Ka-banda coverage to extra17 countries and 600 million users throughout Brazil and Africa.
According to Yahsat, it has announced a partnership with Arianespace, which will launch the new satellite into orbit from French Guiana and Orbital Sciences Corporation (“Orbital”), which will manufacture Al Yah 3.
“The agreements supplement Yahsat’s world-class partnership model and knowledge-sharing vision, which aims at bringing UAE technology and home-grown services to some of the world’s most unconnected and underserved regions. The selection also supports Yahsat’s objective of finding the right balance between cost, innovation and reliability for this crucial next step in the execution of the company’s growth strategy,” stated Yahsat.
Explaining on the appointment of Arianespace and Orbital, Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, the CEO at Yahsat stated, “After a rigorous selection process, Yahsat has selected two industry-leading organizations that will manufacture and launch our third satellite in late 2016. Having worked with Arianespace for the launch of Y1A, one of the world’s most advanced satellites currently in orbit, and with Orbital’s impressive track record of building over 150 satellites that have amassed over 1,000 years of in-orbit experience, both companies have proven their ability to meet and exceed our expectations for world class connectivity in Africa and Brazil.
“Looking ahead as development and launch plans progress, Yahsat will proceed to explore ground partners and distributors throughout Africa and Brazil. Our aim is not just to launch a satellite, but also provide a 360-degree service platform to facilitate the distribution of broadband and connectivity services in our target markets. Part of this exercise is to make sure that we build the right distribution and operational platforms within each of our markets, and we are actively engaged in identifying strong partners across both continents.”
Virginia Orbital, whose headquarters is in Dulles, USA, is one of the world’s leading space technology companies. It is a leading supplier of rockets as well as advanced small- and medium-class satellites for customers all over the world. Arianespace on the other hand is the world’s first commercial satellite launch company. Since its establishment, Arianespace has signed contracts with 85 customers worldwide carrying out close to 250 launches.
David W. Thompson, the CEO and Chairman of Orbital noted: “We are honored to have been chosen as Yahsat’s partner to design, build, test and deliver the Al Yah 3 satellite for launch in late 2016. Being part of this program is very important to our team since it enables us to contribute to the development of the advanced technology industry in the UAE. We look forward to working with the Yahsat team on this high-throughput or light-weight GEOStar satellite.”
Stéphane Israël, the CEO of Arianespace also added: “Al Yah 3 will be an all Ka-band high throughput satellite, with a unique design that optimizes cost, capacity, coverage and flexibility. It will enable delivery of affordable broadband, directly or indirectly to over 600 million users in both continents, specifically covering more than 95-percent of the population in Brazil and 60-percent of the population in Africa. This is in line with Yahsat’s goal to encourage social and economic development by providing people with a platform to access information, enabling them to enter the digital sharing stage as well as facilitate businesses to expand their network and help create jobs.”