Thales Alenia Space To Build Telkom-3S for Indonesian Operator

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UPDATED July 24 at 7:40 a.m. EDT

PARIS — Franco-Italian satellite builder Thales Alenia Space will build the Telkom-3S C- and Ku-band telecommunications satellite for PT Telkom of Indonesia, with a likely late-2016 launch by Europe’s Arianespace consortium, Thales Alenia Space announced July 22.

The satellite, expected to carry 24 C-band, eight extended C-band and 10 Ku-band transponders, will be stationed at 118 degrees east, where PT Telkom’s Telkom-2 satellite currently operates. It is unclear whether PT Telkom intends to move Telkom-2 to the 108 degrees east orbital slot given the expected retirement by 2016 of the Telkom-1 satellite now there.

Telkom-3S is the fourth satellite ordered by Indonesian public- and private-sector entities in the past year. 

PT Telkom on July 24 said its contract with Thales Alenia Space is valued at $199.7 million. In addition to building the satellite, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the early postlaunch operations and in-orbit testing. The contractor will also provide control-center components and will train a team of engineers in Indonesia.

PT Telkom said that its satellite-lease revenue for the first six months of 2014 totaled 250 billion Indonesian rupiah ($21.7 million), up 6 percent from the same period a year ago.

PT Indosat and BRI Bank both ordered satellites, respectively, from Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia and Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California, that are intended to operate at 150.5 degrees east. It remains to be seen whether Indonesia’s new government will give approval to one or both of these spacecraft.

In addition, private-sector satellite operator Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) has announced its intentions to confirm a satellite construction contract with Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, once a co-passenger can be found to share a low-cost launch aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Falcon 9 rocket.

Thales Alenia Space said Telkom-3S would weigh about 3,500 kilograms at launch, which is the class of satellite that Evry, France-based Arianespace has said it must book to maintain the equilibrium of customers for its Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket. The Ariane 5 business model calls for the vehicle to carry two geostationary satellites each launch, typically one in the heavy class and one lighter spacecraft.

Arianespace has said it is reducing the price for lighter satellites riding on Ariane 5 starting in 2014 to address the competitive threat posed by SpaceX for satellites weighing less than 5,000 kilograms.

Telkom-3S is intended to replace the Telkom-3 satellite that was lost in an August 2012 failure of Russia’s Proton rocket. Telkom-3 was built using a Thales Alenia Space payload and a platform provided by ISS Reshetnev of Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

For Telkom-3S, Thales Alenia Space is using its own Spacebus 4000B2 platform.

 

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