Eutelsat has announced a deal with Airbus for the EUTELSAT 36D satellite to replace EUTELSAT 36B at the end of its life at the key 36° East orbital position.
The existing EUTELSAT 36B unit is expected to reach the end of its life in 2026.
The 36° East position is one of Eutelsat’s most important orbital slots. It provides coverage of Africa, Russia and Europe, and is the company’s third-highest revenue generating position. EUTELSAT 36B and EUTELSAT 36C, positioned at the slot, support the broadcast businesses of major anchor customers including Multichoice and ZAP in Africa and Tricolor and NTV+ in Russia.
The company said that the all-electric EUTELSAT 36D will “assure all the main legacy missions of EUTELSAT 36B.” The satellite has 70 physical Ku-band transponders and is based on the Airbus Eurostar Neo platform.
The satellite is currently scheduled to launch in H1 2024.
Pascal Homsy, Eutelsat’s chief technical officer, said: “We are delighted to rely once again on one of our longstanding partners, Airbus, to assure this critical satellite program. This new state-of-the-art satellite will assure enhanced service continuity for our key DTH customers in the major markets of Africa and Russia.”
François Gaullier, head of Telecom Systems at Airbus said: “We are delighted to help Eutelsat provide broadcast and data connectivity, including to remote regions where it’s needed most. More personally, the continuing confidence of Eutelsat in our products is high praise of the reliability of our work and a source of pride for our skilled teams.”
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