New Satellite Extends Yahsat's Commercial Ka-band Coverage to an Additional 17 Countries and 600 Million Users across Africa and Brazil

Al Yah 3 set to be launched in Q4 2016 from French Guiana Orbital Sciences Corporation to manufacture Al Yah 3 Arianespace to launch the new satellite in 2016

Abu Dhabi, UAE — Yahsat (, the UAE-based satellite operator, has announced the manufacturing and launch partners for the Company's recently announced third satellite, Al Yah 3, set to be launched in Q4 2016. This third satellite, within a decade of operation by Yahsat, extends the company's commercial Ka-band coverage to an additional 17 countries and 600 million users across Africa and Brazil.

In line with Yahsat's strategy of working with the world's leading organisations and positioning the UAE as the region's satellite communications hub, Yahsat has announced a partnership - with Orbital Sciences Corporation ("Orbital"), which will manufacture Al Yah 3, and Arianespace which will launch the new satellite into orbit from French Guiana. The agreements supplement Yahsat's world-class partnership model and knowledge-sharing vision which aims at bringing UAE technology and home-grown services to some of the world's most unconnected and underserved regions. The selection also supports Yahsat's objective of finding the right balance between cost, innovation and reliability for this crucial next step in the execution of the company's growth strategy.

Commenting on the appointment of partners Orbital and Arianespace, Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer at Yahsat, said: "After a rigorous selection process, Yahsat has chosen two industry-leading organisations that will manufacture and launch our third satellite in late 2016. Having worked with Arianespace for the launch of Y1A, one of the world's most advanced satellites currently in orbit, and with Orbital's impressive track record of building over 150 satellites that have amassed over 1,000 years of in-orbit experience, both companies have proven their ability to meet and exceed our expectations for world class connectivity in Africa and Brazil."

"Looking ahead as development and launch plans progress, Yahsat will continue to explore ground partners and distributors across both Africa and Brazil. Our aim is not just to launch a satellite, but also provide a 360 degree service platform to facilitate the distribution of broadband and connectivity services in our target markets. Part of this exercise is to ensure we build the right distribution and operational platforms within each of our markets, and we are actively engaged in identifying strong partners across both continents."

Both partnerships support Yahsat's objective of supporting the UAE national development agenda by providing a unique on the job training platform for Yahsat's employees and UAE students throughout the build and launch process.

Headquartered in the United States in Dulles, Virginia Orbital is one of the world's preeminent space technology companies.  It is a leading supplier of advanced small- and medium-class satellites and rockets for customers around the world.  Founded in 1982, Orbital has built, delivered or now has under contract over 1,000 space systems, including more than three dozen commercial communications satellites for geosynchronous orbit missions. 

David W. Thompson, Orbital's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are honored to have been selected as Yahsat's partner to design, build, test and deliver the Al Yah 3 satellite for launch in late 2016.  Being a part of this program is very important to our team because it enables us to contribute to the development of the advanced technology industry in the UAE.  We look forward to working with the Yahsat team on this high-throughput/light-weight GEOStar satellite."

Arianespace was founded in 1980 as the world first commercial satellite launch company. Since its creation, Arianespace has signed contracts with 85 customers worldwide carrying out close to 250 launches. More than half of the commercial satellites in service today were launched by Arianespace.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël, added: "On behalf of Arianespace, I feel honored of Yahsat's renewed trust in Arianespace's tailor made launch solutions, after the successful launch in April 2011 of its first satellite, Yahsat-1A, by Ariane 5. Al Yah 3 launch contract marks the continuation of a long-term partnership between Yahsat and Arianespace in support of Yahsat's growth as a global operator based in the Middle East. Being selected by Yahsat is also a true recognition of the quality and competitiveness of Arianespace's offer. Besides, Al Yah 3 will be the 28th satellite manufactured by Orbital and launched by Arianespace: we are eager to work with Orbital again for mission integration and launch."

Al Yah 3 will be an all Ka-band high throughput satellite, with a unique design that optimizes cost, capacity, coverage and flexibility. It will enable delivery of affordable broadband, directly or indirectly to over 600 million users in both continents, specifically covering more than 95% of the population in Brazil and 60% of the population in Africa. This is in line with Yahsat's goal to encourage social and economic development by providing people with a platform to access information, enabling them to enter the digital sharing stage as well as facilitate businesses to expand their network and help create jobs.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC "Yahsat".

Media contact

•          Masa Milhem –, Tel: +971 (50) 4536710

•          Noura Charaf –, Tel: +971 (0)2 507 6138

•          Barron Beneski, VP of Public Relations  –, Tel: 703-406-5528

•          Mario de Lépine –, Tel : +33 (0) 1 60 87 60 15

About Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC "Yahsat"

Yahsat ( provides multipurpose satellite solutions (government and commercial) for broadband, broadcast, government, and communications use across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe in addition to Central and South West Asia. Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and wholly owned by Mubadala Development Company, the investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer multi-purpose satellite services including:

•          YahClick - offers home solutions, business solutions and transportable solutions

•          YahService - offers managed solutions and government capacity

•          YahLink - offers IP trunking solutions, corporate networking capacity and backhauling capacity

•          Yahlive – a joint venture between Yahsat and SES, a leading global satellite operator, offers a selective choice of premium TV channels

Yahsat's first satellite Y1A was successfully launched in April 2011, and the company's second satellite Y1B was successfully launched in April 2012. Yahsat has announced plans to launch its third satellite, Al Yah 3, in 2016, extending their commercial Ka-band coverage across Africa and, for the first time, in Brazil.

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About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world's leading satellite launch company. Founded in 1980, Arianespace deploys a complete family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, to meet the needs of both commercial and government customers, with more than 250 launches already. Backed by its 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace is the only company in the world capable of launching all types of payloads into all orbits, from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. As of August 27, 2014, Arianespace had carried out 218 Ariane launches, 35 by Soyuz (9 at the Guiana Space Center and 26 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, via Starsem) and 3 by Vega. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a facility in Kourou, French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington D.C. (United States), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore.


Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC "Yahsat"

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