Airbus has announced it has been selected by Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellites operators, to build two HOTBIRD new-generation telecommunication satellites to replace current spacecraft and enhance capacity at Eutelsat’s premium broadcasting position at 13° East, improving performances over the European and Middle-Eastern footprint, reinforced by a powerful European Superbeam.
The new satellites will ensure full service continuity over the operational 102 Ku-band transponders/frequencies, secure deployment and capacity redundancy; the The HOTBIRD fleet forming one of the largest broadcasting systems in Europe, which broadcasts over 1,000 television channels to more than 135 million homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
These new spacecraft will be based on the Eurostar Neo platform, Airbus’ new geostationary telecommunications satellite standard design which combines increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimized costs. The satellites combine electric power of 22 kW with a launch mass of only 4,500 kg, thanks to the EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) version of the Eurostar Neo platform and are expected to be launched in 2021.
Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems at Airbus said: “The continuing confidence of Eutelsat in our products means that they are now the launch customer for Eurostar Neo which will be our new flagship telecommunications satellite. They have been our key partner for most of our firsts, including Eurostar E2000+ and Eurostar E3000, as well as electric orbit raising.”