Arianespace to launch Arabsat's BADR-6 satellite

MUMBAI: As part of its upcoming ambitious fleet renewal and expansion program for the next 3 years, Satcom operator Arabsat has selected Arianespace for the launch of its recently ordered BADR-6 satellite in 2008.

BADR-6, a fourth-generation satellite, will be built jointly by EADS-Astrium and AlcatelAleniaSpace for the communications payload, based on the Eurostar 2000+ platform. Weighing 3,400 kg at launch, the satellite will be fitted with 24 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders with a design life of about 15 years. BADR-6 is designed to primarily provide video broadcasting services for the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from Arabsat's 26°East geostationary orbital location and by far the MENA region's leading video neighbourhood.

Co-located with the rest of the BADR constellation of satellites at Arabsat's "hot-spot" for DTH entertainment, it will be reaching an audience of 130 Million viewers from Morocco to the Gulf and a large part of sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, BADR-6 will also provide Arabsat with additional in-orbit back-up capacity for its core television and radio customers, as well as a significantly larger number of options for optimising its telephony and data transmissions.

Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall says, "Arianespace is very proud and honoured to have once again been chosen by the leading operator Arabsat. We have maintained a preferred relationship with Arabsat since launching the Arabsat-1A satellite in 1985. Furthermore, being chosen for this new satellite launch right when Arabsat has announced an ambitious deployment plan is a clear recognition of the top quality and excellence offered by Arianespace's launch service. We consider it as a significant milestone, hopefully strengthening our cooperation in the close future".

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