Orbital ATK, an American aerospace manufacturer and global leader in aerospace and defense technologies announced the successful launch of the HYLAS 4 commercial communications Ka-band satellite aboard an Arianespace rocket Ariane 5 on 5 April 2018. The satellite is built by the company for Avanti Communications Group plc. (Avanti) to provide high speed and affordable broadband communication services. It will be used to deliver reliable and secure satellite communications to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Governments and Satellite operators in Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its capacity can be further enhanced by providing four steerable beams to address existing or new regions such as Latin America.

Along with HYLAS-4, Ariane 5 also carried with itself DSN-1/Superbird-8 SKY Perfect JSAT satellite built by MELCO – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. It will replace the Superbird-B2 satellite which was launched in 2000 by Arianespace. It will carry high-performance Ku and Ka transponders and will be providing satellite communication services majorly in the Japanese market.

Additionally, Ariane 5 also deployed DSN-1, an X-Brand Communications Satellite-1 which will serve the Program to Upgrade operation and operate X-Band Satellite Communications Function.

The launch took place at 5:34 p.m. EDT from Kourou, French Guiana. Approximately 35 minutes after its launch, after reaching the targeted orbit, the satellites successfully separated themselves from the launcher. Orbital ATK has completed the satellites initial post-launch health check and the required configurations for the orbit-raising process and in-orbit tests. The spacecraft will be handed over to Avanti in April.

The GEOstar-3 satellite- HYLAS 4 constructed in Orbital ATK’s satellite manufacturing facility situated in Dulles, Virginia, is hybrid electric propulsion and Ka-band high-throughput satellite. It is the newest, highest powered and most advanced platform in the flight-proven GEOStar product series. The spacecraft bus has an increased battery capacity, and solar array power, enabling it to offer up to 8 kilowatts power to the payload. The hybrid propulsion system provides the satellite with higher power and greater payload carrying capacity while making the launches cost-efficient and enabling it to attain faster path to orbit than all other electric systems. It is said to have set a new benchmark for affordable and payload flexible satellites. 

Starting with the launch of TOPEX-Poseidon mission in 1992, HYLAS-4 is the 28th Orbital ATK satellite to be launched by Arianespace. The third successful GEOStar-3 satellite launched within three months duration demonstrated Orbital ATK’s ability to not only develop but execute an advanced product offering increased capabilities to meet the customers’ emerging needs.