Lockheed Martin, Arianespace win Saudi satellite commissions

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 29 April 2015

Arabsat and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have agreed a US$650 million deal with Lockheed Martin and Arianespace for the respective manufacture and launch of two new communications satellites.

The first satellite, to be placed into orbit at 39° East, will serve the telecommunications sector both within Saudi Arabia and abroad as a joint venture between Arabsat-owned Hillasat and KACST.

The second satellite, Arabsat 6-A, will support Arabsat's Middle East and African broadcasting and telecommunications capacity from its orbital slot of 30.5° East.

"The signing of the new satellite contracts is significantly important to Arabsat, as it presents a successful development in our partnership with King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology which started by the launching of satellite 5-C in 2011 and paid off today by manufacturing joint commercial integrated satellite with KACST, the 'Saudi GeoSat-1', in our orbital position 39 degrees East, there will meet the needs of KACST to Serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said Khalid Balkhyour, president & CEO, Arabsat.

"The fruit of this partnership will be an agreement with the Saudi Company for Developing and Technical Investment (Taqnia) to cooperate in the field of satellite telecommunications."