The Argentinian satellite operator ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anónima) has resurrected plans to build a third GEO satellite for its fleet. The firm originally planned a third satellite to add to the two already operating, ARSAT 1 and 2. However, due to financial issues the originally named ARSAT 3, which was being built by the Argentine INVAP firm, was cancelled in 2018.
The project to add a third satellite has now been resuscitated, with the name changed from ARSAT 3 to ARSAT SG1. This new satellite will be a Ka-band HTS unit and is expected to take 36 months to build. It is unknown whether Thales Alenia will provide the comms payload, as with the previous units.
The launch vehicle is undetermined. Originally the ARSAT 3 satellite was contracted to an Ariane 5 launch, but the contract was apparently cancelled. As it is, this vehicle will have been phased out of service by the time ARSAT SG1 is completed, and the satellite might now fly on the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle instead.
Matt Wilson contributed to this story