Measat-3d Airbus
Airbus Defence and Space is building Measat-3d to replace Measat-3, which was nearing the end of its operational life before running into issues. Credit: Airbus Defence and Space.

WASHINGTON — Malaysian satellite operator Measat on May 6 said it selected Airbus Defence and Space to build a single satellite that will replace two aging satellites it has in geostationary orbit.

European satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space will build Measat-3d, a new communications satellite that will “progressively replace” the 13-year-old Measat-3 and the 10-year-old Measat-3a satellites.

Measat operates five satellites, providing coverage over Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company took a 22-year-old satellite, Measat-2, out of operation last year.

The new Measat-3d satellite will, as the company hinted last year, carry multiple different payload types. Its design calls for C- and Ku-band payloads for direct-to-home television broadcasting and other telecom services, as well as a high-throughput Ka-band payload for internet connectivity.

Measat-3d will also carry an L-band navigation payload for Korean satellite operator KT SAT as part of the Korea Augmentation Satellite System.

Measat plans to have Measat-3d in orbit in 2021 and to operate the satellite for more than 15 years. The company has not announced a launch provider. 

Once launched, Measat will co-locate the satellite at the 91.5 degrees east orbital slot with its Measat-3a and Measat-3b satellites.

Measat Chief Technology Officer Edmund Kong said Measat-3d will “serve the growth requirements of 4G & 5G mobile networks in Malaysia while continuing to provide redundancy and additional distribution capacity for video in HD, 4K and ultimately 8K in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The satellite’s broadband coverage will reach all of Malaysia, he said.

Caleb Henry is a former SpaceNews staff writer covering satellites, telecom and launch. He previously worked for Via Satellite and NewSpace Global.He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science along with a minor in astronomy from...