International Launch Services made its 85th Proton launch, sending Turksat 4-A into orbit on February 15th from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (at 21.09, Feb 14 GMT). The satellite was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp for Turksat and launched by a Proton-Briz M combination rocket and upper stage. This was the first ILS launch this year, and had originally been scheduled for last November.
Turksat-4A is designed to provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region between west of China and east of England, spanning Turkey, as well as Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Turksat-4A is a multi-band satellite with an expected on-orbit manoeuvre lifespan of an exceptional 30 years.
The satellite will be placed at 42 deg East although it is being tested from 50 deg East, and testing will last about 3 months.