Advanced Television

Thuraya orders new satellite from Airbus

September 3, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Airbus has won a contract from Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat) to build its Thuraya 4-NGS. Airbus also has an option to build Thuraya’s ‘5-NGS’ craft.

The satellite is described as being able to deliver higher capabilities and flexibility while increasing capacity and coverage across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, enabling next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defence, government and businesses.

The next generation craft will drive the continued advancement of Thuraya’s L-band business. Based on the all-electric, Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, Thuraya 4-NGS will incorporate a large 12-meter L-band antenna and a payload, with on-board processing providing advanced routing flexibility of up to 3200 channels with dynamic power allocation over a large number of spot beams. The satellite is scheduled for operation in 2024.

Thuraya says: “This is a major milestone in Yahsat’s move toward transforming Thuraya and rolling out their next-generation system, which entails a complete overhaul of the company’s space and ground platforms, enabling a new set of services, products and solutions across a greater coverage area. The new capabilities will drive leadership across many strategic product lines, such as maritime, IoT, and data solutions offering a wide spectrum of throughput capabilities and the highest speeds available in the market, while reinforcing Thuraya’s strengths in the MSS voice market.”

This latest commitment from Yahsat takes its total committed investment to date to well over $500 million, and more is anticipated in the coming years, including an option with Airbus to build Thuraya 5-NGS (an additional satellite identical to Thuraya 4-NGS), strengthening the firm’s coverage and capabilities across the Asia Pacific region.

Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Yahsat’s Board of Directors and CEO of Mubadala’s Aerospace, Renewables & ICT platform, commented: “The half a billion US dollar commitment underscores our position as a market leader, pioneer and disruptor. We are creating a multipurpose and flexible satellite ecosystem that is attuned for growth and future diversification, and Thuraya 4-NGS is a key milestone in our ongoing mission to provide advanced yet affordable satellite solutions with levels of performance, reliability and security at the leading edge of today’s technology.”

Ali Al Hashemi, CEO of Thuraya and General Manager of Yahsat Government Solutions (YGS), added: “Thuraya 4-NGS represents a significant evolution of our L-band capabilities, enabling a wider range of interoperable FSS/MSS solutions for Thuraya and YGS customers. This will be critical in delivering superior defence solutions, such as battlefield communications, to our government users, while offering a complete MSS portfolio to all of our current and future customers and partners to drive the next phase of innovation and growth.”

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