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Airbus wins HOTBIRD satellites replacement order from Eutelsat

Airbus Defence and Space selected to build the electric propulsion satellites. (Image source: Eutelsat)

France’s Eutelsat Communications has ordered two new satellites from Airbus Defence and Space to replace the three existing HOTBIRD satellites at its 13° East flagship neighbourhood

These all-electric high-power satellites are seen to start operation in 2022, serving Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The new satellites are expected to reinforce and enhance the high quality of broadcasting services provided to Eutelsat customers on HOTBIRD, providing improved performances over Western Europe and Poland. In addition to this, the satellites are set to provide advanced features in terms of uplink signal protection and resilience, as well as exceptional in-orbit redundancy.

With a launch mass of 4.5 tonnes and an electric power of 22kW, the all-electric propulsion satellites will be based on Airbus Defence and Space’s innovative Eurostar Neo platform which will be produced in their UK facilities in Stevenage and Portsmouth as well as in their French facility in Toulouse.

This enables Eutelsat to replace the current constellation of three satellites by two, further enhancing the capex optimisation achieved through the application of the design-to-cost policy.

This procurement is fully covered by the company’s existing capex budget.

Commenting on the satellites, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said, “These new satellites have been specifically designed to enhance the service we offer to our customers at this major neighbourhood while representing the optimum solution in terms of capex efficiency.”

A long-standing business partner to Eutelsat, Airbus has already delivered 23 satellites for Eutelsat.

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