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Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial networks and leading provider of inflight connectivity (IFC), announced that scale-up manufacturer SWISSto12 will produce the Intelsat 45 satellite (IS-45). With the order, Intelsat becomes the first commercial customer for the innovative HummingSat geostationary (GEO) telecommunications product.
Scheduled for launch in 2025, Intelsat 45 will provide Ku-band fixed-satellite services enabling Intelsat to provide specialized and efficient service to Media and Network customers.
“The SWISSto12 product brings two innovations to meet our business needs,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, SVP of Space Systems, Intelsat. “The small size addresses a gap in our fleet strategy, enabling us to be increasingly more targeted to meet specific customer requirements. In addition, the additive-manufacturing process used for this spacecraft is paving the way for faster satellite build cycles in the future. We are confident in the HummingSat technology and want to support the success of new players in the field of commercial communication satellites.”
HummingSats are just over one cubic meter in volume, one-tenth the size of conventional satellites placed in geostationary orbit. SWISSto12 is developing the satellites in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) through its public-private-partnership program. Each HummingSat is designed to launch as a rideshare mission on a rocket carrying one or more large spacecraft to GEO transfer orbit. The new satellite product line recently passed its system requirements review, assessed by a panel of ESA experts.
Dr. Emile de Rijk, SWISSto12 founder and CEO: “The award of the IS-45 program by Intelsat is a landmark moment for SWISSto12. We are humbled to embark on this journey with Intelsat, who are the foundational architects of satellite communications. It is unprecedented for a specialist high growth scale-up to secure a contract of this depth with a leading telecommunications operator. It provides a solid start to our HummingSat product line to open a new chapter in the satellite communications industry.”