Emirati Satellites to Take Flight on SpaceX Rockets

Yahsat, the leading satellite solutions provider in the United Arab Emirates, has secured SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets to launch its next-generation geostationary satellites, Al Yah 4 (AY4) and Al Yah 5 (AY5). This collaboration marks a significant step for Yahsat's expansion plans and solidifies SpaceX's position as a major player in the global launch market.

The launches, scheduled for 2027 and 2028 respectively, will see the AY4 and AY5 satellites deployed into geostationary orbit, providing secure and advanced communication services across a vast region encompassing the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. These powerful satellites are designed to replace Yahsat's existing Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2, launched in 2011 and 2012, ensuring continued and enhanced communication capabilities for the foreseeable future.

Financial details of the launch contract have not been disclosed by either company. However, the total AY4 and AY5 program expenditure is estimated to reach approximately AED 3. 9 billion (USD 1. 1 billion), encompassing not only the launches but also the construction of the satellites themselves, ground infrastructure, and insurance.

"We are proud to collaborate with SpaceX on the upcoming Falcon 9 launches of our Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites, " said Ali Al Hashemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat. "Through this partnership and the recently announced design and manufacturing contract with Airbus, Yahsat is well-positioned to finalize the program with the UAE government, the anchor customer for this initiative, which represents the largest mandate Yahsat has ever received. "

This agreement with SpaceX strengthens Yahsat's commitment to delivering cutting-edge communication solutions to its clients. The Falcon 9, renowned for its reusability and reliability, offers a cost-effective and proven launch platform for Yahsat's advanced satellites.

The selection of SpaceX also underscores the growing prominence of private space companies. With SpaceX at the helm of the launches, Yahsat leverages the agility and competitive pricing often associated with the commercial space sector. This collaboration signifies a potential shift in the landscape of government-backed satellite deployments, where private launch providers are increasingly seen as viable and attractive options.

Beyond the immediate launch requirements, the deal between Yahsat and SpaceX hints at a potentially broader strategic partnership. Yahsat, in a separate agreement with Airbus, has also secured the construction of two additional Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites alongside the geostationary AY4 and AY5. While launch plans for these LEO satellites haven't been revealed yet, the cooperation between Yahsat and SpaceX could extend to future missions, solidifying a long-term alliance in the ever-evolving space industry.

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