The European rocket Ariane 5 launched the new “Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat” telecommunications satellite into space on Tuesday from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Weighing 6,495 kg (14,319 pounds), the new satellite will provide telecommunications capabilities, including television, Internet, telephone and secure communications, in the Middle East, South Africa and Europe.
“Hellas Sat” is a Greek and Cypriot satellite communications solutions provider founded in 2001 which was acquired by Arabsat in 2013. Arabsat is based in Saudi Arabia and is considered to be the sixth-largest satellite operator in the world.
“The launch of the Hellas Sat 4 satellite will increase the capabilities for autonomous satellite communications between government and defense forces,” stated Greek Minister of Digital Policy Nikos Pappas.
Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis was quoted as saying by the Athens News Agency that the new satellite “will provide the Greek Armed Forces with absolutely reliable satellite communications.”
With a design life of more than 15 years and orbital maneuver capabilities of up to 23 years, the new satellite will be positioned at 39° East. It will join Hellas Sat 3, which was launched by Arianespace on June 28, 2017 from the Guiana Space Center, on Flight VA238.