Turkey has commissioned its latest telecommunication satellite in a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey is planning to have a total of 10 satellites in space by 2023 as part of its national space programme.
The new satellite is at its orbital slot of 42 degrees East longitude, and will cover a wide area, including the entire Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, as well as northern, eastern and southern Africa and Turkey’s neighbouring countries.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Erdogan said: “The space journey of Türksat 5B, which we will put into service today, started on December 19, 2021. We are launching our domestic and national surveillance satellite IMECE, developed by Turkish engineers, in January 2023, and Türksat 6A into space in the middle of 2023. The number of our satellites will increase to 10.”
He also said that Türksat 5B will make TV broadcasting and broadband satellite communication capacity uninterrupted and secure in a wide area from Africa to the Middle East, from Europe to Asia. “We will enable Turkey to develop its fibre internet infrastructure”.
Turkey signed an agreement with the global aerospace company Airbus in 2017 for the production of the Türksat 5B and 5A satellites, the latter of which was sent into space in January last year.
Türksat 5B reached its destination on May 17 and underwent successful performance and orbit tests. It will cover a wide area that includes the whole Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, parts of Africa, as well as neighbouring countries.