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Türkiye launches first indigenous communication satellite

Turksat 6A is equipped with Ku- and X-band transponders to deliver satellite TV and communication services across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Photo credit: Supplied

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has launched Türkiye’s first domestically produced communication satellite, Turksat-6A, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on July 9. This milestone places Türkiye among an elite group of 10 countries capable of manufacturing their own communication satellites.

The satellite, equipped with Ku-Band and X-Band communication payloads developed by ASELSAN engineers, represents a significant achievement for Türkiye’s defence company, ASELSAN. These advanced payloads will provide communication services across Türkiye, Europe and South Asia, marking a major expansion in the service area of Turkish satellites.

ASELSAN, which has been involved in space technologies since 2000, played a crucial role in the Turksat-6A project by developing and qualifying its own design, assembly, integration and testing processes for space applications. Over 100 ASELSAN personnel contributed to this challenging project, designing payloads using more than 80 space electronic units. The payloads have a power consumption of 5 kW and a total mass of 300 kg.

After shipping the satellite to the USA on June 4, ASELSAN engineers and other project partners completed the necessary inspections and testing at the launch site. The payloads designed and qualified by ASELSAN are expected to serve in orbit for 15 years.

Following the successful launch and early operations phase, ASELSAN engineers will conduct payload testing for the first time. Turksat-6A is anticipated to begin meeting Türkiye’s satellite communication needs in 2024.

ASELSAN CEO and President Ahmet Akyol reflected on the company’s role in the Turksat-6A project, commending the personnel who developed the satellite’s communication payloads: “Our communication payloads on Türkiye’s first indigenously developed satellite are a source of pride for ASELSAN. Our team has acquired significant know-how and expertise through our satellite projects, including Turksat-6A, and we are committed to advancing our presence in space technologies with new projects.”