[Via Satellite 04-28-2015] Lockheed Martin has won a contract for two satellites, Arabsat 6 and Hellas-Sat 4/SaudiGeoSat 1 from Arabsat and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Both satellites will use the A2100 platform, which Lockheed Martin has been aggressively modernizing in order to gain a larger share of the commercial market.
The two satellites bring to 10 the number of spacecraft in Arabsat’s fleet, and are planned for greater telecommunications services such as television, broadband and telephony to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Arabsat 6A has an orbital slot at 30.5 degrees east and Hellas-Sat 4/SaudiGeoSat 1 will be located at 39 degrees east. The satellites are expected to be ready for launch by 2018, and Arabsat has already signed an agreement with Arianespace for a 2018 launch of the HellaSat 4/ SaudiGeoSat 1 satellite on an Ariane 5 rocket.
Additionally, Lockheed Martin, KACST and TAQNIA Space Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Investment and Development Company have agreed to create a Joint Venture (JV) to develop a talent and infrastructure base for space capabilities in Saudi Arabia. The JV is anticipated to be a limited liability company and KACST will serve as a technology partner, spearheading space-focused Research and Development (R&D) efforts within the country.
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