Ariane launches Arabsat-6B, GSAT-15
Arabsat-6B, to be renamed BADR-7 once in its orbital slot at 26° East, was the ninth satellite orbited by Arianespace for use by the Saudi-based regional operator Arabsat.
It is the initial sixth-generation satellite for Arabsat’s fleet, providing broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. It was launched on behalf of Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with Arabsat.
“BADR-7 has a great variety of different frequency beams including a Ka-band to provide broadband and Internet services as well as direct TV broadcasting and satellite telecommunications services,” said Khalid bin Ahmed Balkheyour, president and CEO, Arabsat.
“Arabsat currently has three new satellites under manufacturing within the 6th generation project. They will be successively launched over the next three years [representing an investment of] about US$1.5 billion”.
The BADR-7 manufacture and launch of BADR-7 will account for US$400 million, Balkheyour said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)-built GSAT-15, meanwhile has 24 Ku-band transponders to serve the needs of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV operators in India as well as VSAT operators who provide DSNG operations to news channels.
Emergency and navigation aids will also be provided by this latest Indian satellite.
ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) director M Annadurai said two other communication satellites, GSAT-17 and GSAT-18, are also being readied for launch by Arianespace next year. “The realisation of both the satellites is in a very advanced stage,” he said.
Following the successful deployment of these latest two satellites, Arianespace remains on track to complete a record 12 launches in 2015, using its Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega vehicles.