Lockheed Martin has started a testing a communications satellite that the company currently develops for Saudi Arabia-based satellite operator Arabsat.
Lockheed said Tuesday the Arabsat-6A satellite will undergo a series of tests at the company’s Sunnyvale, California facility to validate whether the spacecraft is ready to operate in orbit.
Arabsat CEO Khalid Balkheyour said Arabsat-6A will join the company’s existing satellite fleet that works to deliver internet, television, radio and telecommunication services to customers across the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Arabsat-6A is one of two satellites in the Arabsat-6G program and is the second spacecraft based on Lockheed’s modernized LM 2100 series that has completed assembly.
Lockheed also finished assembling the other Arabsat-6G satellite, dubbed Hellas Sat 4/SaudiGeoSat-1, and shipped the platform to Sunnyvale in November 2017 for testing.
The company aims to complete tests of Arabsat-6A and prepare the satellite for delivery to the launch site in late 2018.