Airbus wins order for Turkish satellites

The Turkish state-owned signal provider Türksat Uydu Haberleşme Kablo TV ve İşletme AŞ has awarded Airbus Defence and Space a contract to build communications satellites. The deal was signed at the 3rd Global SatShow 2017 event in Istanbul on Nov. 9. The event was hosted by Transport Minister Minister Ahmet Arslan.

Airbus Defence and Space was chosen over Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) and MDA/Space System Loral (MDA/SSL) to build and launch the Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B satellites. Both are based on Airbus Defence and Space’s latest Eurostar E3000 platform, which uses electric propulsion for in-orbit raising and station-keeping.

Türksat 5A will be a broadcast satellite covering Turkey, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and South Africa. The craft will weigh 3,500 kilograms and is planned for in-orbit delivery in 2020. Türksat 5B is a broadband satellite providing 50 Gbps of capacity over a wide area including Turkey, the Middle East and large sections of Africa. The spacecraft, weighing 4,500 kg, will be put into orbit in 2021.

The service lifetime of both satellites will exceed 15 years.

Türksat 5A and 5B will be launched by Falcon 9 rockets of SpaceX, a U.S.-based company owned by Elon Musk.

Musk met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on Nov. 8 and discussed cooperation between Tesla, SpaceX and local industry.