Reaching Up

Abu Dhabi’s Yahsat orders two new satellites from Airbus

Airbus Defence and Space will design and build the AY4 and AY5 satellites based on the widely used Eurostar Neo platform

Scientists take a look at a satellite in the clean room at Airbus Defense and Space in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images)

The UAE space program is taking a $1.1 billion leap forward by contracting with Airbus to build two new satellites.

Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat signed a contract with European aerospace company Airbus Defence and Space to design and build the AY4 and AY5 satellites based on the widely used Eurostar Neo platform.

Yahsat won a $5.1 billion contract last year to provide satellite service for the UAE government, primarily through the AY4 and AY5 models that are scheduled for launch in 2027 and 2028.

Yahsat merged with Emirati space company Bayanat last December to form a new company focused on satellite communications and artificial intelligence with an implied market value at the time of $4 billion.

Among the key backers of the combined entity are the Mubadala sovereign wealth fund, AI developer G42 and International Holding Co., the Abu Dhabi investment company led by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed.

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