ABU DHABI, Jan. 30, 2008 – International Launch Services (ILS) of the United States, Thales Alenia Space of France and Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. (Yahsat) of the United Arab Emirates today announced an agreement to launch a Yahsat spacecraft on a Proton Breeze M vehicle.
A European consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Astrium was contracted in August 2007 for the overall Yahsat communication system and is building two large Yahsat multipurpose satellites based on the Astrium Eurostar 3000 bus. Yahsat, which is owned by Mubadala Development Company, will provide commercial and government services across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.
Thales Alenia Space was contracted for the Proton launch on behalf of Yahsat.
"The continued confidence shown by Thales Alenia and Astrium in the Proton launch system was key to selecting ILS for this mission," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We must earn customer confidence every day, and our performance over the years with these two fine companies will continue well into the future."
McKenna added, "We’re pleased to have been selected to play an important role in establishing Yahsat’s business in the Middle East region, which is an exciting growth area for satellite communications."
"Yahsat considers the rollout of the Yahsat satellite program to be an essential role in the delivery of the latest in satellite broadcast and connectivity solutions to the Middle East, Africa and southwest Asia. Our partnership with Proton will develop this program as in our plans to establish ourselves as the satellite broadcast services provider of choice in the region," said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Yahsat.
Yahsat entered into a supply contract to deliver a fully integrated satellite system with EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space in August 2007 worth US$1.7 billion. As per the program, Yahsat satellite systems will provide innovative solutions for internet connectivity via satellite, wide area networks and television transmission services, in particular for high-definition television (HDTV).
ILS is a joint venture of Space Transport Inc., Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow and RSC Energia of Moscow. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton, Russia’s premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide.
The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 330 missions since 1965. Khrunichev, one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry, manufactures the Proton. Khrunichev was created from the merger of the Khrunichev Machine-building Plant and the Salyut Design Bureau 14 years ago. The company includes among its branches a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation.
ILS is incorporated in Delaware in the United States, and is headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
About Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat):
Yahsat is a satellite communications company initiated and owned by Mubadala Development Company – Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment and development vehicle. The Yahsat satellite will serve commercial and governmental clients in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia. Yahsat will operate as a commercial company to develop, procure, own and operate a hybrid communications satellite.
Yahsat’s business concept will offer solutions for internet trunking via satellite, corporate data networks, backhauling services to telecom operators and the broadcasting services.
Yahsat was incorporated in January 2007. www.yahsat.ae