Arabsat and KACST sign contracts worth US$650mn

satellite-NASAsMarshallSpaceFlightCenter-flickrThe Helles Sat will support KACST’s telecommunication and broadband needs. (Image source: Nasa’s Marshall Space Center/Flickr)Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have signed contracts worth US$650mn with Lockheed Martin and Arianespace for the manufacture and launch of two satellites

President and CEO of Arabsat Khalid Balkhyour said, “The signing of the new satellites contracts is significantly important to Arabsat, as it presents a successful development in our partnership with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.”

The first satellite called Helles Sat, fully owned by Arabsat, will be manufactured by Lockheed Martin and launched by French company Arienspace from the French Guyana, said Arabsat.

Helles Sat will be at the orbital position 39° East, and will serve the telecommunications and broadband sector of KACST.

Meanwhile, Arabsat has signed a second contract with Lockheed Martin to manufacture Arabsat 6A. USA’s space transport company Space X will launch this satellite into Arabsat’s 30.5° East orbital position.

KACST president Bin Saud Bin Mohammed said, “The City has worked hard to get the best and the latest technology in the field of satellites and to take advantage of all the capabilities in the country for possessing highly developed and secured telecommunications satellites systems to serve the governmental and the commercial sectors. This comes as a continuation of the city aim to localise the satellite technology and its applications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Taqnia, the Saudi Arabian company for development and technical investment will support the project.

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