SSL Delivers Satellite for Eutelsat, Es’hailSat

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Satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral (SSL) of Palo Alto, Calif., has delivered a satellite built for a joint venture of Eutelsat and Qatar-based Es’hailSat to Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for launch aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket, SSL announced July 29.

The Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite is intended to provide coverage of the Middle East and North Africa in the orbital slot at 25.5 degrees east longitude. Equipped to operate in the Ku- and Ka-bands, the satellite has four steerable spot beam antennas and four deployable reflector antennas, SSL said in a press release.

“Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 will help us respond to the growing demand for capacity and reach in regions experiencing dynamic growth of digital services,” Michel de Rosen, chief executive of Paris-based Eutelsat, said in a prepared statement.

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, chief executive of Qatari government-owned Es’hailSat, added, “SSL delivered a highly capable, flexible and reliable satellite. We are very excited to see our first satellite being prepared for launch.”

Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1’s Ku-band broadcast frequencies have been the subject of a long-running dispute with Iran and Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat, which has been broadcasting Iran’s Zohreh-2 service in the same frequencies. However, Eutelsat and Arabsat said this past spring that the two sides were close to an agreement that would allow the two services to coexist.

The new satellite is slated to launch in late August along with India’s GSAT-7 telecommunications satellite.