EADS Astrium and Arabsat, the communication satellite operator based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have signed a contract for the construction of Arabsat’s fourth-generation satellites, Arabsat-4A and Arabsat-4B.
Scheduled to enter service in 2006, the satellites will provide communications services over a wide area within the Middle East region.
EADS Astrium will team with Alcatel Space on the project. EADS Astrium, as prime contractor for Arabsat-4, will design and build the spacecraft, supply the platforms, upgrade the Arabsat ground control centres and deliver the spacecraft in orbit on behalf of ARABSAT.
Alcatel Space will supply the payloads. Arabsat 4-A will carry 24 active channels in C-band and 16 active Ku-band channels and Arabsat 4-B will have a payload of 28 active Ku-band channels. Both satellites will have a launch mass of around 3.3 tonnes and a 15-year design life.
‘I am delighted that Arabsat has placed its confidence in EADS Astrium and I am looking forward to co-operating with our European partners in the realisation of this significant new step in the development of Arabsat’s business,’ commented Antoine Bouvier, EADS Astrium President & CEO.