PARIS — Turkey’s newly launched Turksat 4A Ku-, C- and Ka-band telecommunications satellite is healthy in orbit and is expected to be transferred to its owners by mid-March after initial testing, satellite builder Mitsubishi Electric Co. (Melco) said Feb. 18.

Tokyo-based Melco, whose two-satellite Turksat contract win in 2011 represented a breakthrough in its efforts to build an export market for its DS2000 satellite platform, said Turksat 4A’s launch by an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket will give the satellite more than 30 years of in-orbit maneuvering life. The spacecraft’s contracted design life is 15 years.

The launch occurred from the Russian-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Feb. 15. 

Ankara-based Turksat said the 4,850-kilogram Turksat 4A would be operated at first at 50 degrees east longitude before being moved to its permanent slot at 42 degrees east. The Melco-built Turksat 4B is scheduled for launch, also aboard an ILS Proton, late this year.

Melco’s win of the Turksat contract was valued at the time by Turksat at $571 million including the construction and launch of the two satellites. Besting U.S. and European competitors for the deal was considered as a partial validation of Melco’s strategy of broadening its market beyond the Japanese government.

Follow Peter on Twitter: @pbdes

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.