Riyadh, Toulouse, 8 August 2008 – The BADR-6 satellite built by EADS Airbus Defence and Space has been handed over to ARABSAT as part of the in-orbit delivery contract and has now entered commercial service.
BADR-6 is the third spacecraft built by Airbus Defence and Space for ARABSAT, the communications satellite operator based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Airbus Defence and Space control centre in Toulouse began operating the BADR-6 satellite following its launch by Ariane 5 on the night of 7 July 2008. The satellite arrived in geostationary orbit on 12 July, where it was comprehensively tested to ensure that all spacecraft functions were performing as expected. ARABSAT officially took possession of the operational satellite on 8 August, just one month after the launch.
Khalid Balkheyour, President & CEO of ARABSAT disclosed that “BADR-6 is a multipurpose communications satellite equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders designed to deliver to the Arab world and neighbouring countries Direct-to-Home broadcasting as well as internet broadband services, with all the extra capacity required to accommodate the anticipated rapidly growing demand for High-Definition TV”.
Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the satellite and responsible for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations as part of the in-orbit delivery contract.
The BADR-6 satellite is a Eurostar E2000+ model with a launch mass of 3,350 kg, equipped with a payload featuring 24 transponders in C-band and 20 transponders in Ku-band. It is the 36th Eurostar to enter operational service in orbit.
About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116 , 000.
With a 30-year heritage, Arabsat offers the Middle-East & Africa world an unrivalled range of satellite communications services: Direct-to-Home TV & Radio, telephony, Internet, Broadband, VSATs, and numerous other state-of-the-art services meeting current and emerging demand. Arabsat currently carries 340+ TV channels and keeps expanding its services in order to meet the evolving needs of its customers.
With an audience of 164 Million viewers in the Arab world alone, its 26°E "hot-spot" has become the video neighbourhood of choice. Its aggressive fleet deployment of one new satellite per year from 2008 to 2011, including its brand new BADR-6, enables Arabsat to now provide an unparalleled level of services in the MENA region --and far beyond, with ultimate flexibility and unmatched reliability thanks to an industry-unique true in-orbit back-up. With its fully integrated fleet of satellites operating cutting-edge technologies on most frequency bands over the whole Middle-East, Europe and Africa, Arabsat allows its customers to deliver any type of content to audiences or end-users farther than ever.
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Phone: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Phone: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872
Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Phone: +34 (0) 91 586 37 41