Arianespace has launched a pair of telecommunications satellites, the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 (HS-4/SGS-1) and India’s GSAT-31.

The launch was conducted by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket from the spaceport in French Guiana.

It saw the deployment of around 10,018kg of payload into a geostationary orbit.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said: “For the first Ariane 5 launch of the year, our heavyweight vehicle has once more performed flawlessly.”

As part of the launch, Ariane 5 first deployed HS-4/SGS-1 into a geostationary orbit around 27 minutes after launch.

The ‘condosat’ will primarily serve Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Greek-Cypriot satellite operator Hellas Sat, which is a subsidiary of Arabsat.

Lockheed Martin Space has designed, assembled and integrated the satellite, which is set to operate from an altitude of 39° East.

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“Ariane 5 first deployed HS-4/SGS-1 into a geostationary orbit around 27 minutes after launch.”

HS-4/SGS-1 will provide services to Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.

The satellite’s Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 communications payload is expected to offer advanced Ka-band spot beam communications services to KACST, which is a part of the Government of Saudi Arabia. It deals with the promotion of science and technology in the country.

The Hellas Sat 4 communications payload is designed to provide advanced Ku-band regional beam communications services for Hellas Sat.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) developed GSAT-31 was deployed around 42 minutes after takeoff.

The satellite was carried in Ariane 5’s lower payload position and is designed to offer Ku-band communications services from an orbital position at 48° East.

GSAT-31 marks the 23rd satellites launched by Arianespace for ISRO. It is capable of providing coverage across the Indian subcontinent.