Nilesat has signed a contract with French aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space for the manufacture of its latest communications satellite Nilesat-301. NileSat CEO Ahmed Anis and Martin Van Schaik, Senior Vice President at Thales Alenia Space, inked the deal on 3/12/2019.
Positioned at 7° West, Nilesat-301 will work with Nilesat-201 to provide Ku-band services for the Middle East and North Africa. Nilesat-301 will also help expand Nilesat’s reach, providing new Ku frequencies over Nilesat’s current MENA market, as well as covering countries in the Southern Part of Africa and the Nile Basin. Nilesat 301 will also provide Broadband Connectivity Services over Egypt in Ka Band.
As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for satellite design, production, testing and in-orbit acceptance tests. Thales Alenia Space will also provide satellite control systems for Nilesat in both Cairo and Alexandria.
The satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000-B2 platform and will weigh about 4 metric tons at launch, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022. It offers a design life exceeding 15 years.
Mr. Ahmed Anis, Nilesat’s CEO stated that the selection and approval of Thales Alenia Space as the prime contractor was approved by the Board of Directors of Nilesat among 4 submitted bids based on extensive Technical and Commercial negotiations between Nilesat’s expert selection committee and the 4 bidders.
Nilesat 301 should help to strengthen communication across the African continent in line with the ongoing efforts of political leaders to bolster ties between Egypt and other African nations. Nilesat 301 will also come as a boost to infrastructure projects, new urban communities, and oil fields in the eastern Mediterranean, especially the Zohr gas field.
Schaik said Thales Alenia Space was keen to offer its best in NileSat’s bid, stressing his company’s commitment to the deadlines and specifications agreed upon with NileSat regarding the manufacture and launch of the new satellite.
“I am delighted that Nilesat, and its Chairman and CEO General Ahmed Anis, continued to place their trust in us,” said Jean-Loïc Galle. President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space.
Nilesat 301 will be Nilesat’s fourth satellite in space. The first, Nilesat 101, was launched into space in 1998, followed by Nilesat 102 which was launched two years later. Both satellites were built by Matra Marconi, now Airbus Defence and Space. Nilesat’s third satellite, Nilesat 201, was built by Thales Alenia Space and was launched in August 2010.