EU Space Forum - Banner

Saudi Arabia’s TAQNIA Space, KACST, to Manufacture Arabsat’s 6-D Satellite for In-Flight Connectivity

An artist’s conception of ARABSAT-6A. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

Taqnia Space, a subsidiary of the Saudi Taqnia Holding for technological investment, and Arab Satellite Communications Organization – Arabsat – signed on March 2, 2017, at the headquarters of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a new satellite manufacturing agreement for ARABSAT 6D, to be placed in the orbital position of 44.5⁰ East. ARABSAT 6D is co-owned by King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology and Arabsat.

The new ARABSAT 6D satellite will provide all Ka and Ku satellite telecommunication services, such as internet, fixed and mobile TV broadcasting, and other satellite services on board aircraft.

His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud , Chairman of King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology said that, “The City and Taqnia Space work together to get the state of art technology in the satellite field, taking advantage of all the potential provided by KSA and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques government in order to have a highly sophisticated and secure satellite telecommunication systems. To promote such an integrated approach, Taqnia Space is entering into a strategic partnership with Arabsat, the most prominent satellite operator in KSA and the whole region.”

His Highness also stressed that, “The participation of KACST specialists as a key partner with Taqnia Space in the technology, research, and development has contributed effectively in having the most advanced technical specifications for this satellite.”

Engineer Khalid bin Ahmed Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat has stated, “Today’s agreement is the culmination of the strategic partnership between Arabsat, King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology, and Taqnia Space, which started with satellite SGS-1 on the orbital position 39⁰ East, scheduled to be launched in early 2018, with estimated investments of more than U.S.$650 million for the manufacture, launch and orbital tests for both satellites.”

Engineer Abdullah Al-Osaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space said, “This satellite comes as result of a development plan, started years ago after the ARABSAT 5C satellite and the first Saudi satellite (SGS-1),planned to be launched in 2018 to meet the increasing demand for satellite services, particularly the provision of internet services, voice calls, and TV broadcast on board aircraft, which will be applied on board Saudi Airlines aircraft in early 2019, to be the first airline in the Middle East to use the broadband service to provide such services for passengers travelers in all classes.”

Original published at:

Check Also


Ariane 6 Upper Part Moves to Launch Pad for First Flight

The European Space Agency (ESA) has transferred Ariane 6's upper composite with the payloads that it will launch to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. The upper part of the rocket was moved from the encapsulation hall in Europe's Spaceport to the launch pad in the morning, and placed on top of the rocket. The rocket's fairing includes hardware from experiments, deployers, satellites and reentry capsules.