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."