SpaceX Plans To Launch The Yahsat Satellites

SpaceX Plans To Launch The Yahsat Satellites

Emirati satellite operator Yahsat has chosen SpaceX to launch a pair of geostationary communications satellites as part of a $1.1 billion contract.

On July 1, Yahsat announced that it had chosen SpaceX to launch its Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites on Falcon 9 rockets in 2027 and 2028, respectively. The firms did not reveal the value of the launch contract.

Yahsat signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space in June to build the two satellites, after beginning design work on the spacecraft a year ago. The spacecraft, which replace Al Yah 1 and 2, will use the Eurostar Neo bus to provide internet services across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

“Through the successful completion of the launch contracts with SpaceX and the recently announced design and manufacturing contract with Airbus, Yahsat is well placed to pursue the final contract with the UAE Government, the anchor customer of the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 program, as part of its largest ever mandate received in its history from the UAE Government,” said Ali Al Hashemi, group chief executive officer of Yahsat, in a statement.

In September 2023, the UAE government awarded Yahsat a $5.1 billion contract to deliver broadband services until at least 2043 utilizing the additional satellites. The agreement included a $1 billion upfront payment in 2024 to cover satellites, launch, ground infrastructure, and insurance.

Yahsat did not explain why it chose SpaceX or which other businesses it considered for the satellites. Several more vehicles now in development or just entering service should be available by 2027, including Arianespace’s Ariane 6, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H3, and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur. However, those vehicles will be working through commercial and government contract backlogs, which may limit their capacity to take on new business at that time.

The June contract for Al Yah 4 and 5 comprised two low Earth orbit satellites based on Airbus’ Arrow bus, which Al Hashemi stated at the time would help Yahsat’s “future direction of providing multi-orbit satellite solutions to its customers.” The business has not revealed intentions to launch the LEO satellites.

error: Content is protected !!