Volga-Dnepr Airlines has organized the delivery of the world’s largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellite—Inmarsat-6 F1, also known as I-6 F1—from Toulouse in France to Kitakyushu in Japan aboard its An-124-100.
The challenging and complex delivery was completed in close cooperation with Bollore Logistics, with both teams starting initial project discussions back in 2019 and operations planning in September 2021.
I-6 F1—the first of two Inmarsat-6 (I-6) satellites—is scheduled to launch from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on 21 December 2021 onboard its H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45).
Designed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, the satellite will serve a variety of purposes, including decreasing costs for mobile services and IoT applications thanks to its hybrid nature featuring both L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) communications payloads.
The arrival of An-124-100 with the I-6 F1 aboard was welcomed by Hiroshi Imanaga, Deputy Mayor of City of Kitakyushu; TsujiI Tomoharu, Chief Executive of Seaport and Airport Bureau, City of Kitakyushu; and Dmitry Vorontsov, Volga-Dnepr Group Director, APAC Development.
‘This year we have seen a significant increase in the aerospace sector amid the revival of industry projects and the development of regional space programmes,” said Vorontsov.
“Volga-Dnepr Airlines has so far transported over 3,000 tonnes of aerospace associated cargo and expects more projects in the pipeline.”