Text of report in English by Dubai newspaper Khaleej Times website on 16 January
Abu Dhabi: The first step has been taken by an Abu Dhabi company to launch the UAE's first communications satellite. A letter of intent (LOI) has been signed by Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with Arianespace, the world's leading launch service and solutions company, to launch theYahsat 1A.
The satellite is currently being manufactured by the consortium of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. The expected launch date is second half 2010. The letter of intent was signed between the CEO of Arianespace, Jean-Yves Le Gall, and coincides with the state visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
According to the letter of intent, the Yahsat 1A satellite for a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) will be launched in the second half of 2010, from the Guiana space centre (Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana) by an Ariane 5 launcher.
"Since inception in January 2007, the Y! ahsat project has made excellent progress. The manufacturing of Yahsat1A is well under way," said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Yahsat.
"Arianespace has launched more than 250 other satellites so we are confident that we have chosen a world-class partner to help support our mission, which will put Abu Dhabi on the map in the satellite communications industry," he added.
Yahsat 1A will provide services for both government and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and southwest Asia.
Once in orbit, Yahsat 1A will provide innovative solutions for internet links via satellite, business data networks and television transmission services, in particular for high-definition television (HDTV).
Source: Khaleej Times website, Dubai, in English 16 Jan 08