In an official press release, Thales Alenia Space has announced that the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 program, has passed the critical design review (CDR) stage.
The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite.
Bangladesh ordered the satellite from Thales Alenia Space for USD $248 million in November 2015. The contract also includes the provision of ground-based satellite control and network operations centres. The French export credit agency Coface provided a loan to support the sale.
Thales Alenia Space has begun producing the satellite’s components and is aiming for mating/integration in March 2017. The Government of Bangladesh is aiming to launch the satellite on 16 December 2017. Thales Alenia Space will launch the satellite using a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
Bangladesh sought its own satellite to mitigate long-term costs. Presently, Dhaka spends USD $14 million per year in leasing commercial satellite bandwidth from foreign operators. Not only will Bangabandhu Satellite-1 save upon those costs in the long-term, but Dhaka can also (and plans to) lease its capacity to other countries, especially in Southeast Asia.