May 16, 2022

SpaceX is launching Yahsat’s Thuraya 4-NGS satellite

2 min read

The companies announced on September 8 that Yahsat had chosen SpaceX to deploy the next Thuraya mobile broadband satellite in 2023. In the second part of the year 2023, a Falcon 9 will deploy the Thuraya 4-NGS satellite, which Airbus Defence and Space are manufacturing for the UAE-based Yahsat. The firms did not disclose the details of the launch deal.

Ali Al Hashemi, who serves as the chief executive of Yahsat, stated the company conducted a competitive tendering process for satellite but which the SpaceX provided by far the best plan during Satellite 2021 conference. “We believe SpaceX is the most dependable choice for the mission to ensure that we complete our goal on schedule for our shareholders,” he said. “As far as we can tell, it’s the safest launcher.” “Yahsat needed a dependable and high-performance ride to the orbit to launch its advanced technology. In a statement, Tom Ochinero, who serves as the SpaceX vice president in charge of the commercial sales, stated, “We’re thrilled it chose Falcon 9, one of the world’s most regularly flown launch vehicles.”

Yahsat chose Airbus to create Thuraya 4-NGS one year ago, and the preliminary design assessment was completed in June. According to Al Hashemi, the satellite’s development is on track for a launch in 2023. The satellite will substitute the current two Thuraya satellites, which offered L-band mobile voice as well as data solutions from Europe to Asia Pacific and were built by Boeing. Existing satellites are still operational; however, they have outlived their design lives.

According to Al Hashemi, the service will not stay competitive with the new generation of the broadband satellite constellations, such as SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. “Thuraya concentrates on a different market segment, narrowband portability, and mobility,” he explained. “It’s a completely new market. Iridium and Inmarsat are our main competitors.”

According to him, the new satellite will have a more versatile payload and greater data rates. Yahsat intends to provide more information about those capabilities in the future. Throughout its 15-year life, the satellite is expected to generate $47 million in income, accounting for a large portion of the company’s $2.1 billion backlogs, 70 percent of which is for the government customers.

When Yahsat began trading on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on July 14, it became a public company. The initial public offering, according to Al Hashemi, was a huge success. “It made Yahsat and our accomplishments more transparent,” he said. “I can see how our partners’ perspective has altered a little bit while dealing with us since they can see how effective we are financial.”

The arrangement included an alternative for the second satellite, Thuraya 5-NGS, when Yahsat revealed the Thuraya 4-NGS deal in August 2020. At the time, Yahsat officials stated that they would not use that choice until they had a solid business strategy in place for covering the Asia-Pacific region.

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