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Eutelsat orders Hotbird replacement satellites

Satellite operator Eutelsat has ordered two new satellites from Airbus Defence and Space to replace the three existing Hotbird satellites at its 13° East flagship neighbourhood.

The new all-electric high-power satellites are set to enter into service in 2022, serving Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Eutelsat said the satellites would deliver improved performances over Western Europe and Poland, and will offer advanced features in terms of uplink signal protection and resilience, as well as in-orbit redundancy.

The all-electric propulsion satellites will be based on Airbus Defence and Space’s innovative Eurostar Neo platform which will be produced, along with their high-performance payloads, in their UK facilities in Stevenage and Portsmouth as well as in their French facility in Toulouse.

Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to have secured replacement capacity for our flagship Hotbird neighbourhood at 13° East, which has played a part in developing TV broadcasting formats since its creation and is a cornerstone of our video strategy. These new satellites have been specifically designed to enhance the service we offer to our customers at this key neighbourhood, while representing the optimum solution in terms of capex efficiency. We are once again entrusting this project to our long-standing partner Airbus Defence and Space who have already delivered 23 satellites for our group.”