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Yahsat selects SpaceX to launch geostationary satellites

Expected to launch in 2027 and 2028, these missions are part of the satellite procurement programme worth $1.1bn.

Yahsat has selected SpaceX for the launch of its advanced new geostationary satellites Al Yah 4 (AY4) and Al Yah 5 (AY5) using SpaceX’s flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket.

The agreement is an important component of the AY4 and AY5 procurement programme, the full cost of which is expected to reach approximately AED 3.9bn (1.1bn), encompassing spacecraft, ground segment infrastructure, launch and insurance. This announcement follows the signing of a contract between Yahsat and Airbus to design and build AY4 and AY5 based on the Eurostar Neo platform as part of an AED 18.7bn ($5.1bn) mandate awarded in Q3 2023 to Yahsat by the UAE Government for the provision of satellite communications capacity and managed services for 17 years, primarily on AY4 and AY5.

Commenting on the deal, Ali Al Hashemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat, said: “We are proud to collaborate with SpaceX on the upcoming Falcon 9 launches of our AI Yah 4 and AI Yah 5 satellites. Through the successful completion of the launch contracts with SpaceX and the recently announced design and manufacturing contract with Airbus, Yahsat is well placed to pursue the final contract with the UAE Government, the anchor customer of the Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 programme, as part of its largest ever mandate received in its history from the UAE Government.”

Both satellites will provide secure governmental communications over a wide geographical area across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. AY4 and AY5 are expected to eventually replace the older Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2, which were launched in 2011 and 2012, respectively.