The second satellite from UAE-based Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat), the Y1B, has been successfully mounted onto an ILS Proton launch vehicle after transportation from France to Kazakhstan.
Scheduled for launch from the Bikonur Cosmodrome on 24 April the satellite, which was built by EADS Astrium in Toulouse, must now go through a series of what the company terms 'vigorous functional tests and launch rehearsals' before the rocket is armed and moved to its launch position.
The Y1B weighs more than 6,000 kg, features a spacecraft power of 14kW and has an expected lifetime of 15 years. It will provide high definition (HD) satellite television and other broadcast services, broadband satellite communications, Internet, and corporate data transfer services across the Middle East, Africa and South West Asia.
The satellite's launch has been delayed by two months, following two failed launch attempts of the SES-4 satellite in Kazakhstan at the turn of the year.
Its predecessor, the Y1A satellite was successfully launched in April 2011 from the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. It is now utilised by Yahsat's partner YahLive for the provision of HD satellite broadcasting services across the Arab world.