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Arabsat has contracted with an Astrium/Thales Alenia consortium to build its latest satellite, the first of its ‘6th Generation’ series. BADR-7 is being built jointly by Astrium, which will supply its Eurostar E3000 platform for the project, and Thales Alenia which will design and build the communications payload. Arianespace will launch the craft.
The contract was signed in Riyadh on January 19th. The satellite builders are also responsible for launching the craft and in-orbit testing. The satellite will have a 15-year design life.
BADR-7 will be co-located with the other ‘Badr’ satellites at 26 degrees East. It will have 24 Ku-band transponders as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams, and will cover the MENA region, plus South and North-West Africa as well as Central Asia. Launch is scheduled for late 2015.