Inmarsat announced that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has been selected as the launch provider for the first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 fleet. The satellite, currently under construction by Airbus Defence and Space, is scheduled for launch in 2020 using MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle.
Inmarsat’s sixth-generation (I-6) fleet will be the first to feature dual-payload satellites; each supporting L-band and Ka-band (Global Xpress) services. The I-6 satellites support a new generation of L-band capabilities, with safety services, very low cost mobile services and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Through the I-6’s Ka-band payload, the company will enhance coverage in regions of greatest demand.
MHI Launch Services has a rate of 97.6%. The successor to the H-IIA – the H3 Launch Vehicle – is now being developed by MHI and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and is scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2020.
Inmarsat will make a decision on its launch partner for the second I-6 satellite in due course.