Yahsat Contracts Airbus to Manufacture Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 Communication Satellites

Satellite communications provider, Yahsat, based in the United Arab Emirates, has announced a contract with Airbus Defence and Space to construct two new communication satellites, Al Yah 4 (AY4) and Al Yah 5 (AY5).

This development follows Yahsat’s authorisation to Airbus in the second quarter of 2023 to commence initial activities related to the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellite programme.

Additionally, in the third quarter of 2023, Yahsat received a mandate from the UAE government worth AED 18.7 billion (approximately USD 5.1 billion) to provide satellite communication services and managed services, primarily through these new satellites.

Airbus will design and manufacture the satellites based on the Eurostar Neo platform. This platform allows for complete flexibility in adjusting the payloads of the satellites while in orbit, enabling modifications to coverage areas, capacity, and frequency to meet changing usage requirements.

Secure Communications for Government Entities

Both Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites will provide secure communication capabilities for government entities across extensive geographical regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

These advanced satellites will eventually replace Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites, launched in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and are based on an earlier version of the Eurostar platform by Airbus.

Advanced Satellite Communication Solutions

Yahsat Group CEO Ali Al Hashemi stated that the contract with Airbus is part of the group’s ongoing efforts to enhance its communication capabilities with a new generation of satellites, marking a significant milestone in Yahsat’s growth trajectory.

He added that Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 would enable the group to provide new and advanced space communication solutions to the UAE.

These satellites, operating in low Earth orbit (LEO), will support Yahsat’s ambition to become a multi-orbit satellite operator, providing advanced space technology solutions to its customers.

Alan Faur, Head of Airbus Space Systems, remarked that Yahsat’s selection of Airbus’s flexible satellite technology is pivotal in their 16-year partnership, which began with one of the first communication satellite contracts in the UAE. The agreement to supply Yahsat with Eurostar Neo satellites will enhance Yahsat’s space capabilities.

Airbus will design, manufacture, and provide ground control components for the satellites, which are expected to operate for 15 years following their anticipated launches in 2027 and 2028.

The total cost of Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 programme is estimated at AED 3.9 billion (USD 1.1 billion), covering the spacecraft, ground operations infrastructure, launch arrangements, and insurance.

The programme will initially be funded by Yahsat’s resources until an advance payment of AED 3.7 billion (USD 1 billion) is received from the UAE government.

Airbus is also developing the Thuraya 4 satellite, set to launch in the second half of 2024 and commence service in the latter half of 2025, bolstering Yahsat’s government services and its subsidiary, Thuraya’s mobile communication activities.

Al Jundi

Please use portrait mode to get the best view.