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( ) 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.
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