Eutelsat and SES contract new satellites
October 11, 2012 11.59 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Eutelsat has selected Thales Alenia Space to build the Eutelsat 8 West B satellite, while SES has chosen Boeing for its SES-9.

The new Eutelsat 8 West B spacecraft will be launched in 2015 at 8 degrees West, joining satellites already operated at the adjacent 7 degrees West position by Eutelsat and the Egyptian satellite company, Nilesat.

The Eutelsat 8 West B satellite will be equipped with 40 operational Ku-band transponders designed primarily to serve DTH markets in North Africa and the Middle East. It will also introduce a C-band mission to 8 degrees West, with 10 operational transponders connected to footprints covering the African continent and reaching west to South America.

To respond to the popularity of the 7/8 degrees West neighbourhood, Eutelsat will redeploy an existing high-power Ku-band satellite to 8 degrees West in 2013. This will increase resources in advance of the launch of Eutelsat 8 West B.

SES has selected Boeing to build a new communication satellite, SES-9, to serve the fast growing markets in Asia.

The spacecraft will be positioned at the orbital slot of 108.2 degrees East and provide incremental as well as replacement capacity to this well established SES slot over Asia, where it will be co-located with the existing SES-7 and NSS-11 satellites.

SES-9 will be built in Boeing’s El Segundo Satellite Development Center based on the Boeing 702HP platform. The satellite is designed to operate for 15 years in geosynchronous orbit with a 12.7-kilowatt payload and 57 high-power Ku-band transponders (equivalent to 81 x 36 MHz transponders.