PARIS — United Arab Emirates satellite operator Yahsat will order a third satellite, an all-Ka-band spacecraft with beams covering Africa and most of Brazil, in the coming weeks as the company expands beyond the Middle East, Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat said June 25.
Al Yah 3, which Yahsat said it wants in orbit by late 2016, follows Yahsat’s failed attempt earlier this year to secure rights to a Brazilian satellite slot at auction (it lost to higher bidders). Yahsat did not announce the orbital slot for Al Yah 3, but said it would cover 95 percent of Brazil’s territory in addition to unspecified surrounding areas in Latin America and much of Africa as well.
The company, which is 100 percent owned by Mubadala Development Co., the UAE government’s investment company, said the satellite contract would be managed to include technology transfer to UAE engineering students, who will follow the satellite’s development.
Yahsat said Al Yah 3 would position the company to generate sufficient total revenue to place it in eighth position in the ranking of fixed satellite services operators. The satellite follows the mixed government and commercial Yahsat 1A and 1B satellites, both in orbit.
“The UAE is rapidly developing as a key player in the global satellite industry, becoming the region’s hub for satellite innovation,” Yahsat Chairman Jassem Bu Ataba Al Zaabi said in a statement. “Yahsat is the leading regional operator for the development of government satellite communications programs. … The next goal is to make our value proposition a global one.”
Yahsat said it was still lining up partners in the satellite’s African and Latin American target markets, and said a decision on a satellite builder and launch services provider would be made soon. The Yahsat 1A and 1B satellites were built by a European consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space.
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