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Turkish communications satellite fleet to grow to 6

The number of Turkey’s active communications satellites will climb to six when three new Turksat satellites enter operation, according to Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry data examined by Anadolu Agency.

When Turksat 5A, 5B, and 6A start operating in the years to come -- joining Turksat 3A, Turksat 4A, Turksat 4B -- the number of Turkey’s operating communications satellites will rise from three to six, according to the ministry.

When the three new satellites go into operation, the combined satellites will be operating over Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Next week, Turkey will sign an agreement with Airbus for the production of Turksat 5A and 5B, according to Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan.

Arslan, in an interview with Anadolu Agency on Oct. 26, said that Turkey hopes to send Turksat 5A into space by 2020 and Turksat 5B by 2021.

Turkey also has three surveillance satellites: Gokturk 1, Gokturk 2 and Rasat.

Turkish engineers developed Turkey’s first national earth observation satellite, RASAT, in 2011 and Turkey’s first high-resolution observation and surveillance satellite, Gokturk2, in 2012.

Turkey also launched its third military surveillance satellite -- Gokturk 1 -- last year, from the Kourou Launch Center in French Guiana.

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