Eutelsat Communications and Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, have selected Arianespace to launch their Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite in the second quarter of 2013 on board an Ariane 5 launcher. The announcement was made at the Satellite 2012 show in Washington DC.
The contract signed with Arianespace to deliver Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 into orbit marks a further step forward in Eutelsat and Es’hailSat’s joint programme to operate a high-performance satellite at 25.5 degrees East, a long standing orbital position serving expanding markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
The new satellite will provide coverage following on from the Eutelsat 25A satellite. In addition to securing Ku-band continuity for Eutelsat and Ku-band resources for Es’hailSat, it will initiate a Ka-band capability to open business opportunities for both parties. The satellite, weighing over six tonnes, is under construction by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L).
Commenting on the selection of Arianespace, Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen, said: “Together with our partner, Es’hailSat, we are delighted to entrust the launch of our satellite to Arianespace that has delivered Eutelsat with reliability, flexibility and on-time performance over almost 30 years. This mission for 2013 is a new marker in a solid and longstanding relationship, enabling Eutelsat to pursue our objective to renew and expand the resources and quality of service we provide our customers.”
Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, Es’hailSat CEO, said: “We are delighted that, together with Eutelsat, we have been able to select Arianespace to launch our first satellite. Es’hail 1 is just the start of our mission to provide high quality, independent satellite services to meet Qatar’s national stakeholder’s interests and serve customers throughout the Middle East and North Africa”.
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace chairman and CEO said: “We thank Eutelsat for entrusting Arianespace with this new launch and are particularly proud of a privileged relationship over almost 30 years with one of the world’s leading satellite operators and to sign a 26th contract. Our appreciation also goes to Es’HailSat for selecting Arianespace for their first launch. We are delighted to serve a new operator in this region of the world.”