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MHI vehicle to launch UAE statellite

(March 2015) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has received an order from the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) for the launch of its KhalifaSat observation satellite.

EIAST is an organisation established by the Dubai government in the UAE.

The KhalifaSat satellite will be launched in Japanese fiscal year 2017 (between late 2017 and early 2018) on MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle together with Gosat-2, a satellite tasked with observation of greenhouse gases, which the Japanese Ministry of Environment, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (Jaxa) and National Institute of Environmental Studies are jointly developing.

The new order for satellite launch services marks MHI’s third from outside Japan. Previously the company was selected by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to launch its Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 (Kompsat-3), and was contracted by Telesat of Canada to launch its Telstar 12V communications and broadcasting satellite.

The tandem launch of the KhalifaSat together with the Gosat-2 will be the second time MHI performs a joint launch with an overseas satellite; a similar double launching took place in 2012 when the Kompsat-3 accompanied Jaxa’s GCOM-W, an observation satellite for observing and measuring global change based on water parameters.

The KhalifaSat observation satellite is EIAST’s third satellite, following the DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2 respectively launched in 2009 and 2013. Significantly, however, the new satellite marks EIAST’s first satellite wholly developed by Emirati engineers in the UAE, leveraging the experience accumulated from the two earlier launches.

Commenting on the Khalifasat-related order, EIAST director general Yousuf Al Shaibani said: “EIAST is looking forward to this collaboration with MHI. After evaluating MHI’s launch service in terms of H-IIA launch vehicle performance, as well as the group’s technical and operational expertise and its past successful launches, we are confident that they are the ones to entrust with the launch of KhalifaSat, which is a landmark project for EIAST and the UAE in general.

MHI has proven to be very competitive in overall commercial terms and has a very good reputation in the global space technology community. Our 100 per cent Emirati team of engineers are currently at work at EIAST’s specially designed satellite manufacturing facilities on the final stages of KhalifaSat in preparation for its launch.”

“We believe that the success rate, schedule assurance of MHI launch services, and the traditional Japanese traits of meticulous response and sincere attentiveness were highly evaluated by EIAST. The good relationship between EIAST and JAXA also helped MHI win the order,” said Naohiko Abe, vice president and senior general manager of the space systems in MHI’s Integrated Defense & Space Systems business domain.

EIAST is an aerospace development institution wholly funded by the Dubai Government. Its scope of operations presently includes earth observation, satellite navigation and satellite communications. The organisation has a staff numbering some 80 employees. – TradeArabia News Service