The Riyadh-based Arab Satellite Communications Organisation (Arabsat) has acquired a used satellite from Telesat Canada to replace its Anik D-2 satellite, whose unexpectedly high fuel consumption will end its life in 10 months’ time, about eight to 10 months before schedule.

The deal, agreed in June, is an extension of a contract signed with Telesat in March 1993. Under the contract, Telesat sold Arabsat the Anik D-2 satellite and committed itself to providing an uninterrupted service until the start- up of Arabsat’s new satellite in 1996.

Telstar 301, launched on 2 August, will bridge the gap until a new satellite, ordered from France’s Aerospatiale, begins operation in early 1996 (MEED 23:4:93). Telstar 301 will reach orbit in January 1995 and have a life-span of three years.

Financing arrangements involve an advance payment and monthly payments for the duration of Telstar 301’s operation, Arabsat says. No commercial loan syndication will be required.