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Astrium and Thales Alenia Space win Yahsat satellite communications contract

08 August 2007

Abu Dhabi, UAE - 8TH August 2007 - Al Yah Satellite Communications Company "Yahsat", a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, awarded a contract to a joint team of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space to build their US$ 1.66 billion (AED 6 Billion) dual satellite communications system ready for a launch in the second half of 2010.

Yahsat will provide customers with innovative solutions for broadcasting services, internet trunking via satellite, corporate data networks and backhauling services to telecom operators. The Yahsat satellites will fulfil the satellite communication requirements of both government and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South West Asia. The system is designed to accommodate the trends of emerging applications in the satellite industry like HDTV and other broadband satellite services.

Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, COO of Mubadala and Chairman of Yahsat, commented: "Demand for satellite communications capacity is booming in the Middle East and North Africa, and this demand is predicted to grow exponentially. This is the first time that a government in the region has openly backed such a substantial venture in the satellite communications industry. It sends out a powerful message about Abu Dhabi's emerging role as global technology hot-spot."

François Auque, member of EADS Executive Committee and CEO of Astrium, representing the consortium, said: "Naturally we are delighted to have been selected as Yahsat's partner for the design, construction and management of these two satellites communication system. The selection process was comprehensive; we were impressed by both the depth of strategic studies undertaken and the technical know-how displayed by the team but also their passion for 'making it happen'. We believe and hope that this is the start of a long-term relationship that will benefit not only Yahsat's customers around the region, but the people of Abu Dhabi themselves."

The dual (government and commercial) Yahsat satellite communications system includes two large satellites to be delivered in orbit, as well as the associated ground infrastructure. The operational life of the satellites is estimated at 15 years. The Yahsat system will comprise of a space segment including two operational satellites -YahSat 1A and YahSat 1B. Yahsat 1A is to be stationed at the orbital position of 52.5°E.

About Mubadala

Mubadala Development Company is a strategic investment and development vehicle established and wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its mission is to invest in commercially-viable, strategic, industrial and commercial partnerships.


About Yahsat

Yahsat is a telecommunications satellite project initiated and owned by Mubadala Development Company. The Yahsat satellite will serve commercial and governmental clients in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South-West Asia. YahSat will operate as a commercial company to develop, procure, own and operate a hybrid communications satellite.

Yahsat business concept will be focused on addressing the terrestrial broadband coverage and will offer solutions for internet trunking via satellite, corporate data networks, backhauling services to telecom operators, and the broadcasting services.

Yahsat was incorporated in January 2007.


About Astrium

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2006, Astrium had a turnover of €3.2 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are: the business units Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of €39.4 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.


Astrium Media Contacts:

Rémi Roland (Astrium FR)
Phone: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 37

Jeremy Close (Astrium UK)
Phone: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Mathias Pikelj (Astrium GER)
Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 91 23

About Thales Alenia Space

European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Together with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms a Space Alliance between the two groups. The company is a worldwide reference in telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With 7200 employees and 11 industrial sites, Thales Alenia Space is located in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.http://www.thalesaleniaspace.com/

Thales Alenia Space Press Contact:

Florence Pontieux
Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 91 26 florence.pontieux@thalesaleniaspace.com

Sandrine Bielecki
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94 sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com

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