Avanti Taps Orbital for Hylas 4 Satellite

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PONTE VEDRA, Florida — Satellite fleet operator Avanti Communications of London on Aug. 12 said it had selected satellite builder Orbital Sciences Corp. of the United States to build the Ka-band Hylas 4 satellite, to be launched in early 2017 by Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium.

The satellite will be the first firm contract for Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital’s new Geostar-3 satellite frame, a higher-power version of Orbital’s existing satellite line that seeks to add muscle to the current product without pushing the satellilte’s total weight into a higher-cost launch category.

Orbital and Avanti said Hylas 4 would deliver up to 28 gigahertz of throughput to 66 fixed beams over Europe and Africa, plus four steerable beams that, depending on market demand, could be trained on Africa or Latin America.

Avanti in June raised $157.5 million in a bond offering — giving bondholders an 8.75 percent yield to 2019 — for Hylas 4. Avanti said that given the cost of the Orbital and Arianespace services, Hylas 4 would cost 15-20 percent less than the $350 million the company had originally estimated.

Avanti said it had given Evry, France-based Arianespace a three-month window ending in April 2017 for the launch to occur.