The UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced support for a $500m Airbus Defence and Space UK contract to deliver two telecom satellites for Turkish communications company Turksat.

Airbus won the contract in November 2017 to build and deliver two satellites in orbit. The contract also includes a ground station.

The satellites will be used to ensure the continued provision of television and broadband data services in Turkey and the wider region comprising the Middle East, Europe and large regions of Africa.

According to UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, UKEF will offer a guarantee to support a $325m loan to the Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

The loan will fund the procurement of the satellites and systems from Airbus.

“UKEF is recognised as an innovator in the field of export credits, and its support was an important part of our offer to Turksat on this important deal.”

Fox said: “The UK continues to lead the way in the global telecommunications industry and this contract demonstrates the ongoing worldwide demand for this expertise.

“UKEF’s support is an important differentiator for companies exporting from the UK, helping them win international business as the government looks to realise the Export Strategy ambition to increase exports to 35% of GDP.”

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The two communications satellites, Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B, will be built at Airbus’ UK and French facilities.

With an estimated service life of more than 15 years, the satellites are based on the latest electric orbit raising (EOR) version of Airbus’ Eurostar E3000 platform.

Airbus Defence and Space managing director Colin Paynter said: “We are proud to have secured this contract, which marks an important step forward in the delivery of TV services in Turkey.

“UKEF is recognised as an innovator in the field of export credits, and its support was an important part of our offer to Turksat on this important deal.”

With a launch mass of 3,500kg, the Türksat 5A broadcast satellite is expected to be launched next year.

The satellite will operate in Ku-band at a 31⁰ East longitude slot in geostationary orbit.

The Türksat 5B broadband satellite will have a mass of 4,500kg. With a planned in-orbit delivery date of 2021, the satellite will operate in Ku-band and Ka-bands at a 42⁰ East longitude slot in geostationary orbit.