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Inmarsat’s First I-6 Satellite - Core Component of ORCHESTRA Network - Successfully Delivered to Target Orbit by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’

 23 December 2021

Inmarsat and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI), announced the successful launch of Inmarsat’s first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 series (I-6 F1) by MHI’s H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (H-IIA F45).

H-IIA F45, the latest example of Japan’s H-IIA flagship launch vehicle series, followed the planned trajectory, and the successful separation of I-6 F1 from H-IIA F45 was confirmed about 26 minutes after lift-off.

Inmarsat's sixth-generation (I-6) satellites will be the company’s first to host dual-payloads, utilising different frequency bands. The I-6s will support L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) services as part of the company’s unique, global, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network ORCHESTRA. I-6 F1 was manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space and is the most sophisticated commercial communications satellite ever launched.

The H-IIA is Japan’s flagship launch vehicle and one of the most reliable in the world. MHI provides its launch services with the H-IIA launch vehicle, which, with the success of H-IIA F45, has achieved a success rate of 97.8%, and a cumulative success rate of 98.1% including H-IIA and H-IIB. MHI is committed to providing secure delivery of a customer’s satellite on the planned date with high reliability so that customers can commence their business operations as planned.

“Today Inmarsat began the next phase of its world leading technology roadmap thanks to the launch of I-6 F1, the first of seven we have planned in the coming three years,“ said Mr. Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO regarding this successful launch. “I-6 F1 will play a crucial role in Inmarsat’s world-leading, dynamic mesh network ORCHESTRA as we plot the course to further connectivity innovation for our customers. My warmest thanks to my Inmarsat colleagues and the teams at MHI and Airbus Defence and Space for their excellent delivery, as well as to the Tanegashima community for its hospitality during our launch programme.“

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Inmarsat and Airbus Defence and Space for providing continuous support to MHI since MHI received the launch services contract in 2017. I also wish to thank the Japanese government, institutions and local people in Tanegashima for their generous understanding and great cooperation to perform the launch,” said Tomoe Nishigaya, Vice President & Senior General Manager for Space Systems in MHI. “I am proud that we launched the first, cutting-edge satellite of Inmarsat’s I-6 fleet successfully and as scheduled. I sincerely hope that the satellite will reach its orbit and start communication services as planned, enabling ever more innovative communications for people all over the world. MHI values the relationships of trust we have built over the years with Inmarsat and our other customers and continues to provide launch services that flexibly address customers’ needs.”


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