NileSat to launch fourth satellite

13 June 2022

Egypt’s commercial satellite communications operator NileSat will launch its fourth, NileSat-301, in May 2022.

According to European satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, Nilesat-301 has recently been placed inside its Cannes transport and will be transported west along the Cote d’Azur to Fos-Sur-Mer before heading to the US for launch.

NileSat signed the contract with Thales Alenia Space in December 2019 and the project had a development timeline of 25 months. However, the project timeline has been extended four more months from January 2022, which was the previous deadline. NileSat also signed a launch contract with SpaceX for the in-orbit delivery of the satellite.

The satellite will have a minimum lifespan of 15 years in orbit and will deliver communications and satellite broadband services to Egypt and neighbouring countries in north Africa.

Nilesat-301 will also help extend the company’s provision of Ku-band communications and direct digital broadcasting services in two new large regions of Africa, while also providing broadband Ka-band across Egypt.

The satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000-B2 platform and will weigh about four metric tons at launch. Following Nilesat-201, Nilesat-301 is the second geostationary communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Nilesat. Egypt’s 10th and Africa’s 48th satellite is also the fourth payload developed by Thales Alenia Space for the Egyptian operator.

Once delivered to SpaceX, NileSat-301 will be fitted on to a Falcon 9 satellite launch vehicle before being launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US.