Turksat-4B in Good Health Following Proton Launch

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PARIS — Satellite builder Mitsubishi Electric Co. (Melco) on Oct. 19 said its Turksat-4B satellite, launched for Turkey’s government-owned Turksat on Oct. 17 aboard an International Launch Services Proton rocket, has sufficient fuel to operate for “at least 30 years.”

Turksat confirmed that the satellite was in good health and sending telemetry data following separation from the Proton rocket’s Breeze-M upper stage.

Turksat-4B, which weighed slightly more than 4,900 kilograms at launch, is the second of two satellite contracts awarded to Melco in March 2011. Turksat-4A was launched in February 2014, also aboard a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, under a contract managed by Reston, Virginia-based ILS.

Turksat-4A operates at 42 degrees east. Turksat-4B, whose launch was delayed by nearly a year after Proton launch failures, will operate at 50 degrees east. Melco said in-orbit testing is expected to conclude by early December, at which time the satellite will be transferred to Turksat for operations.

Melco DS2000 platform
Melco DS2000 platform

The satellite carries 18 Ku-band transponders and eight Ka-band transponders. Turksat said the Ka-band payload is capable of generating 3 gigabits per second of throughput for broadband Internet service. The footprint of Turksat-4B stretches from East Asia to Western Europe, including Turkey and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Turksat-4B is the ninth Melco DS2000 satellite frame to reach orbit. All remain in service, Melco said, adding that seven more DS2000 satellites are scheduled for launch by 2017.

Japanese commercial fleet operators and the Japanese government account for all but one of the DS2000 platforms under construction. United Arab Emirates-based Es’hailSat selected Melco to build the Es’hail 2 telecommunications satellite.