Abu Dhabi to launch two new communication satellites

The full procurement cost of the two satellites is expected to reach Dh3.9 billion

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Angel Tesorero

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Artist’s rendition of Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites. Photos: Supplied
Artist’s rendition of Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites. Photos: Supplied

Published: Sat 15 Jun 2024, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Jun 2024, 9:34 PM

Abu Dhabi-based Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat) will launch two new satellites in 2027 and 2028 to “offer secure governmental communications across Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.”

The final launch dates have not yet been confirmed but the two satellites – Al Yah 4 (to be launched in 2027) and Al Yah 5 (launch date in 2028) “will have a design life of 15 years. They will replace Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 that were respectively launched in 2011 and 2012,” said Ali Al Hashemi, CEO of Yahsat group.


“The new satellites form a critical element in our strategy to further enhance our capabilities in space-based communications. They will enable Yahsat to provide the UAE government with new and advanced satellite communications solutions,” he told Khaleej Times.

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Al Hashemi added that European multinational aerospace corporation Airbus will design and build the AY4 and AY5 satellites based on the Eurostar Neo platform (customisable satellite platform) for a wide range of missions, with each having flexible payloads.

Ali Al Hashemi
Ali Al Hashemi

“The flexible multi-band payloads can be fully reconfigured while in orbit, capable of adjusting the coverage area, capacity and frequency ‘on the fly’ (while in orbit) to meet evolving mission requirements,” he added.

The full procurement cost of AY4 and AY5 is expected to reach Dh3.9 billion, including the satellites, ground infrastructure, launch, and insurance.

“Yahsat will initially fund the program using its own resources before the receipt of Dh3.7 billion through an advance payment from the UAE government,” noted Al Hashemi.

Meanwhile, Airbus earlier announced developing Thuraya 4 satellite (“T4”) for Yahsat government and commercial satellite solutions. T4 is also based on the Eurostar Neo platform and is due to be launched in the second half of 2024 and enter service in the second half of 2025.

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