Lockheed Martin to build new satellite ground system in Saudi Arabia

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Lockheed Martin has been selected to develop a new ground system to control Saudi Arabia’s recently launched SaudiGeoSat-1 (SGS-1), according to a statement.

The US-based manufacturer is partnering with the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA) to develop the system using Ka-band spot beam communications services manufactured from off-the-shelf components and Saudi-specific secure communications services, the statement read.

“This modern satellite ground system will help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia take full advantage of the advanced capabilities of SaudiGeoSat-1 and nurture Saudi’s growing native engineering talent,” the Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia, Joseph Rank, said.

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“This system will also allow the integration of current and future Air and Missile Defense Systems, adding enhanced security and resiliency further protecting the citizens of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

The new system will be designed to accommodate additional satellites as Saudi Arabia’s satellite fleet grows.

SaudiGeoSat-1 was launched abroad an European Space Agency Ariane V rocket from French Guiana on February 5, 2019, and was designed in concert with Lockheed Martin.

“Saudi engineers trained and worked side-by-side with Lockheed Martin’s world-class satellite manufacturing experts … This practical learning experience is helping build qualified Saudi talent to support future satellite and ground component production in the Kingdom,” the CEO of TAQNIA Holdings, Abdulrahman Alkhathlan, said in the statement.

The satellite’s communications facilities allow for advanced communication services with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and secure communications across the GCC, the statement read.

“Space is a critical enabler for national security and defense systems and aligns with Saudi Vision 2030, as well as goals for self-sufficiency, critical to the Kingdom’s future,” Alkhathlan said.

“A comprehensive, integrated space architecture strengthens the Kingdom’s modern military systems and operations across all domains, dramatically improving situational awareness,” he concluded.

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