Riyadh-based Arabsat has ordered a new satellite from Airbus.
BADR-8, described by Arabsat as the first of its 7th generation of satellites, will be built by Airbus Defense & Space and with an expected launch date of early 2023.
BADR-8 will be propelled to orbit based on Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit-raising technology. A launch provider has not yet been specified. Once launched the satellite will take 4-5 months to reach geostationary orbit using the craft’s electrical propulsion system. The satellite has a design life of 15 years.
BADR-8 will also include the innovative Airbus developed TELEO optical communications payload demonstrator. This payload will enable very high capacity analogue optical feeder link communications, as part of the development by Airbus of a new generation of optical communications technology in space to be integrated in its future commercial products, which is highly robust against jamming.
Khalid Balkheyour, President/CEO of Arabsat said: “BADR-8 satellite will be joining our Badr-network at Arabsat 26° East hotspot. BADR-8 will carry massive satellite transponders for satellite TV broadcasting, satellite telecommunications and information exchanging services in Ku-band / C– band that will enhance Arabsat’s satellite fleet capacities and ensure updated and developed services for years to come, reinforcing Arabsat leading role in the Middle East for satellite TV broadcasting & satellite telecoms. Arabsat’s investment in BADR-8 will reach about $300 million including launch, insurance and ground infrastructures.”
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said: “This important contract with our long-standing customer Arabsat has a special significance for Airbus Defense and Space. It is the first 7th generation Arabsat satellite and the first Eurostar Neo satellite we are building for Arabsat after six previous Eurostar satellites. BADR-8 incorporates the best of our expertise and technologies, including a very innovative optical communications hosted payload. This further strengthens our continuing strategic partnership with the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation, which has been connecting people by satellite across the Middle East and the world for more than 40 years.”