Turkey will now launch a new satellite – Türksat 5A – in 2016, said Binali Yildirim, Minister for Transportation and Communication. The relatively small 16 Ku-band transponder satellite (plus 4 C-band transponders) is being built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Mitsubishi Electric and construction of the satellite will start next year.
The 2016 launch is at least 6 months later than first anticipated. The craft will be located at 31 degrees East. The satellite will be launched by International Launch Services atop a Proton rocket.
Turkey launched its first home-produced craft (RASAT) in 2011 and the Göktürk-2 satellite on December 18, 2012. Nihat Ergun, Minister for Science, Industry and Technology, has recently announced Turkey’s preparing a 10-year investment in a programme for satellite technologies.
Turksat 2A and 3A are in use at 42 degrees East, but 2A (launched in 2001) will need to be replaced. However, Turksat 4A, with a launch date of 2014 is part of that replacement cycle and has 28 Ku-band transponders, while Turksat 4B is also planned for launch later in 2014 and placed at 50 degrees East.