Airbus Defence & Space has won a contract to build a new communications geostationary satellite for Emirates-based Yahsat and its sister business Thuraya.
There could be two satellites involved as Yahsat has taken an option for a second Thuraya craft. The confirmed order is for Thuraya-4 NGS (Next Generation System), and the option covers Thuraya-5 NGS. The optional extra satellite will be decided upon once Thuraya has a firm business plan for the Asia-Pacific region.
Thuraya-4 NGS will be launched in 2024 and be an all-electric craft.
The craft will be an Airbus Eurostar Neo satellite and carry a 12-metre L-band antenna and manage 250 communication beams.
Yahsat CEO Masood M. Sharif Mahmood said his company will spend around $500 million to build and launch the Thuraya-4 NGS satellite, refresh where necessary Thuraya’s ground network, and update its user communications handsets and data-modules.
The new satellite will continue Thuraya’s existing mission and provide voice and data connectivity over the MENA region, Europe and Central Asia.