EADS Astrium, Alcatel To Build Arabsat Satellites
EADS Astrium is teaming with Alcatel Space to build two satellites – Arabsat-4A and Arabsat-4B – for Saudi Arabian satellite operator Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat). Financial terms were not disclosed.
Scheduled to enter service in2006, the satellites will provide communications services for the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Western Europe. EADS Astrium, as prime contractor for Arabsat-4, will design and build the spacecraft, supply the platforms, upgrade the Arabsat ground control centers and deliver the spacecraft in orbit on behalf of Arabsat. Alcatel Space will supply the payloads. Arabsat 4-A will carry 24 channels in C-band and 16 Ku-band channels and Arabsat 4-B will have a payload of 28 Ku-band channels. Both satellites will have a launch mass of around 3.3 tonnes and a 15-year design life. The Arabsat-4 spacecraft is based on the E2000+ version of the Eurostar satellite family.
In addition, EADS Astrium has selected International Launch Services to launch the two satellites aboard Russian-made Proton/Breeze M launch vehicles. The satellites are set for launch in late 2005 and early 2006. They will be co-located in the 26 degrees East Longitude orbital slot.